Fairfield School pupils relish tips from elite coaches

Tottenham Hotspur international development coach Anton Blackwood shows the pupils of Fairfield...
Tottenham Hotspur international development coach Anton Blackwood shows the pupils of Fairfield School some tricks yesterday. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Having English Premier League football coaches come to your school would make many young players dribble.

It was no wonder that Fairfield School was fizzing yesterday as two development coaches for Tottenham Hotspur gave pupils nutrition and match tips.

Anton Blackwood, who played for the Premier League team in the 2009-10 season and Spurs women's under-20 head coach Shaun Harris visited Fairfield School and Catlins Area School yesterday.

They are in the country as part of a national tour in support of the six-week New Zealand's Healthiest Schools Challenge.

Blackwood said the main goal was to give the children information about nutrition.

"We tell them to eat the rainbow. Making your plate colourful will make it more likely they're getting the vegetables they need.

"In many countries like New Zealand, increasing numbers of people are dying of entirely preventable diseases.''

The response from pupils was "incredible''.

"We landed in New Zealand yesterday, so we're quite tired, but the energy from the children is keeping us going.''

The two coaches spoke to the pupils of Fairfield School at an assembly before taking groups of them on to the field and through ball exercises and games.

The visit was arranged by AIA, the global principal partner of the football club and behind the healthy schools challenge.

Deputy principal Dean Gordon said the school was lucky to have the coaches, especially since their school was only one of two in the South Island they were visiting.

"Yeah it's definitely great for us to have sportspeople of that calibre.''


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