David Beckham makes surprise visit to Sainsbury’s Million Kids Challenge winning school

David Beckham million kids challenge

Vaughan Primary School had a very special guest at their morning assembly when global icon David Beckham turned up to meet staff and pupils today. David was visiting the school in his role as ambassador for Sainsbury’s to promote both the Paralympics and healthy active lifestyles amongst children.

David's visit to the school was organised by Sainsbury's to celebrate Vaughan Primary winning the Million Kids Challenge. An initiative created by the supermarket to encourage children of all ages and abilities to try one of three Paralympic Sports; Goalball, Visually Impaired Football and Sitting Volleyball, the Million Kids Challenge saw Sainsbury's supply all participating schools, clubs and organisations with free Paralympic sports equipment for kids to use.

Launched in April 2011, the Million Kids Challenge was taken up by nearly 8,000 schools across the country with over 2.4 million children having the opportunity to try Paralympic sport.

Vaughan Primary was awarded the visit from sporting superstar David Beckham as a reward for the hard work undertaken by teachers and pupils to embed Paralympic sports into their mainstream curriculum. The school has even dedicated an entire half-term to the three Paralympic sports.

Vaughn Primary's involvement in Paralympic sport wasn't just limited to the Million Kids Challenge; the school also developed links with Aspire - the spinal injury charity - adopting it as the school charity. The school arranged visits to Aspires Stanmore HQ on a number of occasions where students took part in a range of activities including trying out another Paralympic sport, Wheelchair Basketball. The school has also purchased tickets for their junior school children to attend the Paralympic Games in September.

Justin King, Sainsbury's CEO commented: "What an amazing day. It was a real pleasure to arrange for David to meet with the pupils and staff and see firsthand how they have embraced the Paralympic Games. When I first heard about all the effort and hard work that the school has undertaken to truly integrate Paralympic sport into their curriculum, and how they have involved pupils in the Million Kids Challenge, it was clear that here was a school that deserved a great reward. I hope that the time that they spent with David was both enjoyable and inspirational."

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the thousands of schools and millions of children who took part in the challenge, helping us move closer to our goal of making London 2012 the best Paralympic Games ever."

David Beckham said: "Today it was a real privilege for me to meet the pupils and staff of VaughanPrimary. Their dedication to Sainsbury's Million Kids Challenge and their wider involvement and support for the London 2012 Paralympic Games is inspirational. I got the chance to chat with the children and the teachers who have worked so hard to really integrate Paralympic Sport into their day-to-day lessons. The Million Kids Challenge has been an amazing initiative and I would like to thank all the schools that took part. Having over 2 million kids giving Paralympic sport a go is truly amazing."

Andrew Griffin, Headmaster Vaughan Primary School commented:  "We were absolutely thrilled to be chosen as the winning school of the Million Kids Challenge, and to welcome David Beckham to Vaughan Primary was a once in a lifetime opportunity. He met with teachers and pupils from the whole school and learnt about what we have been doing to include the Games and Paralympic sport into lessons and teaching. As you can imagine the children were over the moon to get the chance to spend time with David who is a real inspiration and the perfect role model. We will remember this day for a very long time."

Watch the CBBC News Round report on David Beckham's visit to a primary school to promote the 2012 Paralympics Games. See an interview with the legend himself and the reaction of the children. 

Notes to editors

Sainsbury's Million Kids Challenge

  • The Million Kids Challenge was announced in April 2011 and is Sainsbury's initiative to get millions of kids to try a Paralympic sport
  • It was only open to schools (primary and secondary) that were registered with Sainsbury's Active Kids programme
  • 7,994 schools participated in the challenge representing an estimated 2,407, 262 children having had  a go at a Paralympic Sport

Active Kids

  • Sainsbury's Active Kids was launched in February 2005, in response to growing concerns around children's activity and obesity levels.
  • Active Kids has donated over £100 million worth of equipment and experiences to nurseries, schools, Scout and Guide groups, and Clubmark accredited sports clubs (or acceptable equivalent), can exchange for a variety of sports and activity equipment and experiences. 
  • During the Active Kids 2011 campaign, customers will be given one Active Kids voucher for every £10 spent in store, in petrol stations and when they buy groceries online.  In convenience stores customers receive 1 Active Kids voucher is awarded for every £5 spent in store. Exclusions apply
  • Sainsbury's have pledged to have encouraged over 20 million children to enjoy physical activity by 2020

Get Set

  • Get Set is the official London 2012 education programme for schools and colleges across the UK. It provides free learning resources for 3-19 year olds to find out more about the Games and explore the Olympic Values of excellence, friendship and respect, and the Paralympic Values of determination, inspiration, courage and equality. It also offers access to exciting prizes and opportunities through participation in competitions and partner programmes. There are over 17,000 schools and colleges registered with Get Set.
  • Sainsbury's Million Kids Challenge is part of Get Set + and is featured within the Paralympic Games theme.
  • The Get Set network is the London 2012 reward and recognition scheme for the active community of schools and colleges across theUKthat are demonstrating a commitment to living the Olympic and Paralympic Values. Members of the network gain the right to use the London 2012 education logo, and are given priority access to the most exclusive prizes and opportunities. There are currently over 2000 members of the Get Set network. All schools participating in Sainsbury's 1 Million Kids Challenge are eligible to receive even greater reward and recognition from London 2012 by joining the Get Set network.

About Vaughan Primary School

  • VaughanPrimary Schoolis a mixed primary school located inNorth London
  • With an age range of 3-11, the school has approximately 500 students

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About the article

  • Posted on: 01 June 2012
  • Type of article: Press release

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