Sunderland Legend Supports Local Kids

Today, Monday 6th February, over 100 primary school pupils from the Sunderland area had the chance show off their footballing skills to Sunderland legend Gary Bennett as part of Tesco Bank Junior Players.

Bennett, who notched up over 400 appearances for Sunderland throughout his career, attended the football tournament at Silksworth Sports Complex led by the Foundation of Light.

Tesco Bank Junior Players is a flagship community coaching programme jointly led by the Foundation of Light, the Newcastle United Community Foundation and the Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation and gives school children in the region the opportunity to take part in physical activity and receive expert tuition from highly qualified coaches. This unique programme is first time three Foundations have collaborated on such a project.

Speaking about the event, Gary Bennett said:

“It was great to come along to today’s tournament and see so many children out enjoying playing football. Getting children active and involved in sport from a young age is extremely important and I am in no doubt that the Tesco Bank Junior Players programme will have a positive effect on the young participants in the North East.”

Adele Mills, Tesco Bank Senior Community Investment Manager, said:

“The children taking part in today’s tournament were really excited to play in front of a footballing hero so I am delighted we were able to provide them with this experience. Our focus is to create opportunities for young people and encourage healthy choices and, delivered by the Foundation of Light, this programme provides this in a fun way.”

If it wasn’t for supporters such as Tesco Bank providing the funding, these programmes might not happen.  We would therefore kindly ask Media colleagues to use the line:

 *Gary Bennett was speaking today at the Tesco Bank Junior Player’s football tournament taking place at the Silksworth Sports Complex.*


For more information and media enquiries please contact:

Tesco Bank press office

+44 (0) 131 274 3630 

Notes to Editors

About Us:

 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 is now providing inspirational opportunities for 85,000 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 36,000 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 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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