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Tesco Junior Players kicks off in the North East

Today, Thursday 24th November, Duncan Watmore, Ayoze Perez, Fab Flournoy, Drew Lasker and Joe Hart launched Tesco Bank Junior Players; a community sports programme which will see 15,000 primary school pupils from across the North East of England take part in football and basketball sessions led by the Foundation of Light, Newcastle United Foundation and Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation.

The three club’s Community Foundations, in partnership with Tesco Bank and Tesco Underwriting, have combined to develop a unique sports programme that will give young people in the region the opportunity to not only take part in physical activity, but to receive expert tuition from highly qualified coaches. This flagship programme is first time three Foundations have collaborated on such a project.

Children from St Stephens RC Primary School in Longbenton , who will be participating in the programme, attended today’s launch at Tesco Bank’s Newcastle base and were put through their paces by the players and coaches from the respective Foundations. 

Iain Harnett, Tesco Bank, Managing Director, Operations said:

"We are thrilled to expand our community programme into the North East of England with this fantastic programme. We focus on creating opportunities for young people and encouraging healthy choices which are objectives shared with all three of the Foundations. We are a major employer in the North East and this programme allows us to give something back to the communities which have supported us."

Steve Kingshott, Chief Executive, Tesco Underwriting said:

"Working with such admired partners shows our commitment to the North East, the community in which we live and work. Our focus is to create opportunities for young people and we look forward to seeing the children flourish over the course of the next year."

Jamie Wright, Foundation of Light Managing Director commented:

"We’re delighted to be working with Tesco Bank and Tesco Underwriting as well as our colleagues north of the Tyne on this exciting new project that will make a big difference to grassroots sport in the region.

"Thank you to Tesco Bank for supporting the Junior Players programme, it demonstrates a real commitment to the North East and we hope this is the start of a very successful partnership."

Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said:

"We’re thrilled to have Tesco Bank’s support to share the coaching expertise of the Foundation staff across the region to help inspire more young people to get involved in grassroots sport.  We’re really proud to be part of this pioneering partnership that sees the three Foundation’s work together for the first time.  We know that through this initiative we can encourage even more young people to get involved in sport."

Samantha Blake, Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation, said:

"We are excited that Tesco Bank have invested in our young people’s sporting future. The support will provide more than 15,000 young people a new sporting experience. The Eagles Community Foundation look forward to building a new partnership with Tesco bank whilst delivering alongside Foundation of Light and Newcastle United Foundation."

Duncan Watmore, Sunderland AFC:

"I think it’s great that this project is encouraging so many young people to get involved in sport across the whole of the North East through the work of the Foundation of Light and other partners." 

Newcastle United Foundation Ambassador Ayoze Perez added:

"A good coach is really important and it’s great that Tesco Bank is supporting the Foundation so their coaches can work with even more people!"

Fab Flournoy, Player, Head Coach, Newcastle Eagles, said:

"Its always fantastic to teach young people about the sport I love playing and I hope they find as much enjoyment from the game as I do." 


For more information and media enquiries please contact:

Tesco Bank press office

+44 (0) 131 274 3630 

Notes to Editors

 As part of Tesco, we recognise the importance of building trust with the communities in which we serve customers.  We do this by creating opportunities for young people, supporting local communities and encouraging healthy choices.

That’s why, each year, our Community Programme has provided inspirational opportunities for 70,000 children by building skills and confidence and encouraging positive habits – helping them lead happier, healthier lives.

Over the last seven years, not only have we engaged 400,000 kids but we’ve also helped raise over £1.7million for charities and our employees have volunteered over 30,000 hours of their time to help good causes in their local communities.

Tesco Bank’s goal is to make banking and insurance easier and better value for people who shop at Tesco. We’ve been around since 1997 and today we help more than 5 million customers manage their money every day. Our 4,000 colleagues serve our customers seven days a week from our three main centres in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle, and we are also available through online and mobile banking 24/7. Tesco Bank participates in the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board.

Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC173199. Registered Office: 2 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9FQ

Tesco Underwriting (TU) is a partnership between Ageas (UK) and Tesco Bank. The primary focus is to underwrite Tesco Bank car and home insurance policies, and provide a claims service to customers. Sharing an office with Tesco Bank provides a great opportunity to work together for our community. Our values drive our business and making a difference is very important.

Foundation of Light

Foundation of Light uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire young people and their families through a broad range of innovative programmes helping improve lives across the North East.

Financially independent of Sunderland AFC, the Foundation of Light needs to raise more than £4m every year to continue its life-changing portfolio of programmes which engage more than 39,000 course registrants every year.

For more information about Foundation of Light, contact James Burman or call 0191 551 5199.

Newcastle United Foundation

Newcastle United Foundation is an independent and registered charity, supported by Newcastle United Football Club. It aims to use the local passion for football to encourage learning and promote healthy lifestyles that will make a real difference to the lives of children, young people and families in our region. Our aims are:

  • To promote active and healthy lifestyles, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
  • To inspire children to learn and help young people reach their potential.
  • To engage young people in constructive activities that build safe, strong communities.

Last year the Foundation worked with 50,000 individuals across a range of sports, health and education projects.

Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation

Eagles Community Foundation works as far south as Hartlepool and north to Berwick. The Foundation now offers 52 basketball club sites, benefiting more than 1500 young people per week. This has been achieved through the hard work of a dedicated group of people who work with partners, funders, schools, universities, colleges and of course families. The Foundation and club work tirelessly to provide a structure that is unique in the country and used as a case of best practice not only with the governing body but also sport England. For further information please contact Sam Blake on 0191 2453881 or 

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