Chelsea's Cech Checks in Children

Goalie greets 20 kids from local breakfast clubs

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Chelsea goalie Petr Cech delighted 20 children from the football club’s groundbreaking Breakfast Clubs by welcoming them to Chelsea's world famous Cobham training ground.

Now in their third season, the clubs provide breakfast based on the first team diet for over 220 children in 10 schools across Hammersmith and Fulham who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to get a healthy and nutritious start to the morning.

And last week, the best attending 20 pupils in the scheme were invited to visit the training ground.

The 20 pupils received a coaching session with Chelsea’s award winning Football in the Community coaches, and were then joined by Petr who presented them with medals and certificates and sat with them for an impromptu question and answer session.

Petr Cech is an ambassador for the programme and explained: " All the players know how important it is to get a good start in the morning. It helps you concentrate, focus your mind and gives you energy for the day ahead. It is just like filling a car with petrol, you need to make sure you have the right kind of petrol to make it run smoothly.

" For the kids on the programme a healthy breakfast helps them learn and do better in their school work and means they have enough energy until lunchtime. I am really happy that we are helping the children in this way - it so important to their development both physically and mentally."

The programme, run in conjunction with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, has been a resounding success and expanded last season to incorporate five extra schools.

Lynne Richardson of Hammersmith and Fulham Council says: " The Breakfast Clubs continue to be very popular in our schools. Heads and learning mentors appreciate the benefits of having pupils in school, on time and focused for the day.  This fits with the whole school approach that the borough adopts, of healthy bodies and healthy minds and links perfectly with two of the Healthy Schools Scheme criteria of encouraging pupils to take part in physical activity and to eat well."

The schools are reporting that punctuality, attendance and behaviour of pupils improves once they start attending the clubs on a regular basis and that they are ready to learn and settled into the school day, having had something  nourishing to eat and drink.

Petr, who became a dad for the second time last month with the birth of his son Damian, also runs a summer Football Academy for children in his native Czech Republic.

The idea started with 40 youngsters and after a positive reaction, expanded and improved.

Now 160 youngsters take part, predominantly from Czech Republic but some from the UK, USA, Germany, Italy and Slovakia have also signed up.

The children receive coaching and Q&A sessions by Petr and other professionals including Chelsea's goalkeeping coach Cristophe Lollichon.

" 'They have of course football training but they also have English lessons," Petr says.

" We start with football language, they always want to know how to say left-back or right-wing.

" We also explain how important it is to eat and sleep well and to have a good lifestyle. We show how it works in professional football. A lot maybe stop playing in a few years but they will still get information which will be useful for their lives. "

 

July 14, 2009