AFC Bournemouth loan star Jack Stephens and Cherries legend Steve Fletcher were on hand to help deliver an insightful Respect and Citizenship workshop at St Peter’s Primary School.
Organised by the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust, the workshop looks at how children’s love for sport and football can be linked to help encourage positive behaviour.
The session was supported by Goadsby, a leading independent estate agent in central southern England and a long-standing official partner of the Community Sports Trust.
Stephens and Fletcher conducted an informative question-and-answer session and the children took part in fun activities and games, displaying examples of how to show respect in sport.
Defender Stephens, who is on loan to the Cherries from Southampton, said: “It’s great to be able to come here to speak to the children about respect in sport and football and to give them the inspiration and right morals.
“It’s really important we set the guidelines and show them how to act as people and how to treat other people as well.
“As a sportsperson, competitiveness, and a will to win are important but you have to try to do it in the right way.
“It’s difficult at times and, sometimes, with the emotion, you can overstep the mark. But, on the whole, it’s important you stay respectful of the opposition. When you win, you do it respectfully and, when you lose, you need to be respectful as well.”
Paul Stewart, commercial company MD at Goadsby, said: “In what is our ninth consecutive year of sponsoring the AFCB Community Sports Trust, we have seen the schools project, Respect and Citizenship campaign, grow in popularity with the club now delivering around 100 classes throughout the local conurbation every season.
“Having witnessed a lesson in progress, it is evident the children are engaged and enthused by the sterling work of Steve Cuss and his team – keep up the amazing work!”
Steve Cuss, who heads the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust, hosted the workshop and said: “In partnership with Goadsby, we go around all the local schools delivering respect workshops.
“It’s a really good workshop in terms of looking at behaviours within the classroom and school and then relating that to the football pitch and sporting environment.
“As we try to educate within schools, we want to produce winners and everybody likes to win but there’s a right and a wrong way to do that. We try to highlight that within the lesson – be respectful both when you’re winning and losing. It’s a really good life skill as well as a sporting one.