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10 hours ago

RT @Jamie_Wright4: Typically diverse day @SAFCFoL today - started off teaching Sign Language at a old people’s home, then met @EFLTrust to…

13 hours ago

Still looking for sports activities for your youngsters during #HalfTerm? Sign up for our Football, Dance, Multi-… https://t.co/vsDiGAxMnn

15 hours ago

RT @NESA_WomenFB: Next up for our @NU_Foundation team in the @NFYLU19 Women's Northern Premier Division - Sunderland @SAFCFoL at @johnspenc

21 hours ago

RT @WBD_CharitiesUK: We were proud to sponsor the Uniquely North East award at last week's #NECharityAwards. Congratulations to all the nom…

23 hours ago

#HALFTERM: BOOK NOW for our October Holiday Activities including Soccer Courses, Dance Classes, Multi-Sports, Disab… https://t.co/VOLfclnH4t

Oct 14

Great result for @SAFCLadies who are through to the third round of the @FAWNL Cup! #HawaytheLasses https://t.co/mvpt1HWFNw

Oct 14

RT @SRTRC_England: #SAFC are supporting #wearredday. Get your workplace or school to take part this Friday 19th Oct. @SAFCFoL #showracismth

Oct 14

RT @SAFCLadies: 66' GOAL FOR SUNDERLAND! It's another own goal as Hutchinson's teasing cross from the left is deflected in off the far post…

Oct 14

RT @SAFCLadies: 58' GOAL FOR SUNDERLAND! Atkinson crosses in from the right. Clarke dives out to push away the cross but it deflects back o…

Oct 14

RT @SAFCLadies: Half-time: Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Sunderland AFC Emily Hutchinson's early strike put Sunderland ahead before Anna You…

Oct 14

RT @SAFCLadies: TEAM NEWS: Here's how the Black Cats line up to face @WolvesWomen I'm the @FAWNL Cup... #HawayTheLasses https://t.co/mGfM2…

Oct 14

RT @BeaconofLight: If you are attending today’s @slandfutsalclub match, please park in the GREEN car park (Ticket Office) and NOT the servi…

Oct 14

It’s a big month of international football for some of our @SunderlandRTC players! Good luck to Daisy, Grace, Rebe… https://t.co/FkyOqASXdG

Oct 13

RT @Official_SAFC: Thanks @SunderlandAFC for the support today, hopefully we can go a long way 🔴⚪️⚽️🚂🏆

Oct 13

RT @SunderlandAFC: North East football ❤️ A favourite of ours, @Official_SAFC, advanced in the #FAVase today 👏 This is definitely just th…

Oct 13

RT @SAFCLadies: 1️⃣ DAY TO GO! Tomorrow we are back on the road to take on @WolvesWomen in the @FAWNL Cup 2nd Round! #HawayTheLasses #FAW

Oct 13

Join us on Saturday 27th October a match day kickabout. Bring your children aged 5-16 year olds to the Beacon of… https://t.co/MAqBrzdZ2G

Oct 13

No @SunderlandAFC game but there is plenty of our local teams in action across the #NorthEast! Good luck to our fr… https://t.co/6G4b6ZOzao

Olympic hero backs Foundation

ONE of the country’s most successful sportsmen has backed Sunderland AFC’s official charity in its efforts to help tackle the city’s health problems.

Since its creation in 2001, Foundation of Light has made is priorities educating young people and their families, helping people into work and improving health and well-being.

Steve Cram, one of the UK’s best-ever middle distance runners, is a Trustee of the Foundation and has a special interest in the work the charity does in getting people fitter and helping people to focus more on living healthier lifestyles.

“In a way, well-being is our biggest challenge. With education, it’s easier to get funding and measure outcomes. Health and well-being is so important, but nobody seems to own it – is it the NHS, is it Sport England or is voluntary organisations like the Foundation?” Steve asked.

“There doesn’t always appear to be a national cohesive strategy, so I think it’s vital that bodies like the Foundation provide good, strong outcomes and continue to tackle health issues at a very local level.

“It’s not our job to rectify the whole problem, nor could we, but we can deliver good, workable interventions that can make a big difference to local families.

There is a phenomenal amount of people whose lives have been improved by the work of the Foundation. But it’s not always about the numbers, sometimes it’s the things you can’t measure.

“The dad who we’ve taught to read is a number on a page somewhere, but we’ve changed his life, we’ve improved his life.

“When I hear these personal, individual stories, that’s when I feel genuinely proud. It’s important that we as Trustees hear these individual stories, but it’s also important that a wider audience hears them too, so the work of the foundation is really appreciated.

“It’s part of the reason the Foundation has launched its stand alone website as many of these inspiring stories and information on health and well-being can be found on the new website www.foundationoflight.co.uk.”

The ‘Jarrow Arrow’ was sure the foundation’s unique relationship with SAFC can help provide the inspiration needed to encourage people to live healthier lives: “The players can be role models who can create that initial spark of interest; they can get the attention of young people.

“It’s then our role to provide the spaces, facilities and coaches to encourage people in Sunderland to live healthier lifestyles.”

Steve believes that in the future, Foundation of Light could deliver services on behalf of the NHS or extend work done on behalf of Sport England.

And he is sure one way to improve the fitness and health of communities is through families: “All you need is one family member in a household to take up running or some form of regular exercise and mums, dads, brothers, sisters, daughters or sons can follow.

“We’re not looking to create Olympic champions, we just need more people to think more about exercise and eating the right things. Running and other sports can also do wonders for your self-confidence and self-esteem.

“It could be that you’re not achieving in the classroom, but you could achieve on the running track or in the gym – and it doesn’t cost a fortune. Running round the streets with a pair of trainers on doesn’t cost much at all.”

Steve, who set world records at various middle distances as well as winning the 1500m Gold at the 1983 World Championships and the 1500m silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games, is now the BBC’s Chief Athletics Commentator and Chancellor at the University of Sunderland.

He is proud of the work Foundation of Light continues to do in local communities and excited at the prospect of expanding that work once the £15m Beacon of Light opens. The Foundation’s new building will be a vibrant and exciting education and sports facility built on land next to the Stadium of Light and Sunderland Aquatic Centre.

Steve adds: “We’ve been talking about the Beacon at Foundation board meetings for a long time, so it’s great to see it starting to coming to life.”

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about 13 hours ago