Exercise for children: football

Sam Dunkley, aged 8 at the time of this interview, plays football at school and goes to after-school training run by coaching company Premier Sport.

"I like playing football a lot," says Sam. "I play at least twice a week. I play at school and I've just joined a club called the Teversham Terriers. This season I've already scored about 30 goals.

"I really enjoy going to football training and I've made lots of really good friends there. We practise passing and shooting, then at the end we have a match.

"I'm a striker so I play up front and in midfield. I'd really like to be a professional footballer when I grow up."

A different boy

Sam's mum, Debbie, says playing football and going to after-school training has done wonders for her son. "Sam's been going to Premier Sport soccer clubs since he was about five," she says. "When he started, he was fairly shy and he never wanted to join in anything.

"But now he's a different boy. These days he's one of the lads and he's got tons of confidence. It's really lovely to see how he has changed.

"He's started playing for a little club, and he had a trial at Cambridge United and does some training there too. So he's playing a lot, which is great, as it keeps him fit. He's a real outdoorsy boy now, and I'm not sure he would have been if it hadn't been for football training.

"Playing football has also given Sam the opportunity to have fun with other boys and to make lots of friends who have the same interests as him. It's been such a positive experience."

Thanks to nhs.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.