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Stars on hand at Premier League 4 Sport launch

25 October 2015

Rovers stars Craig Conway, Adam Henley and David Raya put their sporting prowess to the test at the launch of the Community Trust's Premier League 4 Sport scheme.

The players participated in volleyball, badminton and table-tennis with pupils from St Bede's School in Blackburn who were given a unique opportunity to engage with the talented trio.  

As part of the project, which is run in partnership between the Premier League and the club, the Trust hold 28 weekly satellite sessions in eight different sports across East Lancashire. The sessions are free and aim to get young people, aged 14 and over, to participate in sport more regularly - engaging with up to 800 children every year.

Craig said: "Sport was always the main thing that I wanted to get involved in from an early age. That was the subject that I enjoyed the most and we did a variety of sports in PE and I enjoyed most of them. I always had that competitive spirit and I always wanted to win at everything, so I really enjoyed PE at school. Now, because football's my job, it obviously means a lot more, but it's a great feeling to do what you love and get paid for it.

"Compared to when I was at school, there's certainly a big push to get kids more involved in sport now. Due to people's lifestyles, it's important that people exercise more and coming along today, the kids were beating us at every sport we played, so I think it's really good. There's certainly a lot more opportunities from when I was at school, which is really good to see.

"As a club, I think we do go around to a lot of schools and we do do a lot for the local community. These young kids look up to us and we're role models, so for us to go out and visit schools and show our support to the community is really good."

Adam added: "PE was the one lesson I always looked forward to at the start of the week. It was something I excelled at and with that comes enjoyment, so it was always a pleasure to take part and try my hand at all sorts of sports. 

"Once you come out of school and you turn professional, it becomes your livelihood at the end of the day. Every young player, from the age of 17 or 18, wants to have a long and successful career in football. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and it can be hard for young lads to understand that so early, but it's an important stage in their career and it's vital to their success.

"At a young age, it's all about enjoying yourself, whatever sport you're playing. You've got to have a love for it and enjoy yourself when you're doing it. That's how we all ended up where we are today and it's important that they try as many different things as they can and enjoy it while they're doing it."

David said: "PE was my favourite subject at school, so I used to enjoy playing every sport. When you turn professional, you look after yourself more, you take care of what you eat, how you train, what you do outside of football, but it's a dream come true, from being a kid to knowing that you're going to play football for the rest of your life. 

"It's important for kids to get involved in sport at a young age because they can get a lot of enjoyment from it and it's an opportunity to really look after yourself."

For more information on how to get involved in the Premier League 4 Sport programme, please contact Fergus Heyes at fergus.heyes@brfctrust.co.uk or on 01254 508132.

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