Cherries star Tyrone Mings put 30 children through their paces at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium as part of a growing campaign to encourage more youngsters to keep fit.
The defender is club ambassador for Premier League Kicks, a nationwide initiative which enables Bournemouth to offer free football in a safe environment.
AFC Bournemouth’s self-funding, non-profit Community Sports Trust (CST) runs the Premier League-backed scheme locally with more than 1,000 young people participating last season.
Beales department stores, official partner of the community sports trust since August, sponsors the Bournemouth region of Premier League Kicks.
CST head Steve Cuss said: “This expanding initiative encourages young people to get involved in playing sports in the evenings.
“They benefit from a healthier lifestyle, improved well-being and, most importantly, have a safe environment in which to enjoy themselves.
“Bournemouth is very much a community club – we work with and for the community for the benefit of all concerned – and hence the support of a major, long-established business such as Beales is invaluable.
Tyrone attended a session for under-10s on the 3G pitches at Vitality Stadium.
He said: “I love being involved with this scheme. Not only does it provide a brilliant opportunity for kids to stay active, but there’s also a chance we might discover the new Lionel Messi.”
Beales department stores began trading in the town in 1881 – and remains on the original site – and recently returned to private new ownership as a family department store group.
Chief executive officer Tony Brown said: “As one of Bournemouth’s longest-established businesses, it is incumbent on us to give something back to the community which supports us and which we serve.
“Sponsoring Premier League Kicks is a fantastic way of Beales getting involved with an important programme that enhances the lives of our youngsters.”
The Old Christchurch road store houses a collection of official AFC Bournemouth merchandise, including replica kits, scarves and a range of souvenirs.