Victor Anichebe visited a local school today to see how Everton is continuing the legacy of London 2012 and helping to prepare future Olympic athletes for Rio 2016.
The Nigerian striker, who is an Olympic Silver Medallist from Beijing in 2008, joined Everton in the Community coaches at a table tennis club at Broadgreen International School, which was established thanks to the Blues’ Olympic themed programme, Premier League 4 Sport.
At the event Victor showed off his ping pong prowess and challenged students to a game or two before taking part in a question and answer session about being an Olympian.
Speaking at the school, Victor said: “It’s great to see young people taking up different sports and having the drive to aim for events like the Olympics and represent their country.
“Going to Beijing in 2008 hasn’t really sunk in to be honest. Maybe when I am older I will appreciate it a lot more because I look at the build-up on TV and see how proud the Olympians are. I am very proud at representing my country I just don’t think that it has sunk in so much yet. The fact that I have a silver medal people say to me that it is amazing, and it is, but I think I will appreciate and understand it a bit more when I am older.”
Premier League 4 Sport was introduced over three years ago in the run up to London 2012 to encourage participation and progression in a range of Olympic sports, including table tennis, judo, volleyball and badminton.
In that time Everton in the Community has given over 3,500 young people across Liverpool and Knowsley the chance to try non-traditional sports.
The programme has been very successful and created a number of hub and satellite clubs, including the Broadgreen International School table tennis club, across the region to enable young people to take up Olympic sports and also offer those already playing a formal route to progress.
Jackie Twort, Premier League 4 Sport Co-ordinator for Everton in the Community, said: "I would like to thank Victor for coming along today and sharing his Olympic experiences with the young people. It’s not often you meet an Olympian, but one who also plays for Everton is extra special!
“The programme aims to get children from all backgrounds involved in non-traditional, club-based sport and we have had a fantastic response since we launched in September 2009.
"London 2012 was a fantastic advert for alternative sports and demand for sports such as volleyball, judo and also badminton has increased significantly.
“The programme will hopefully not only continue the legacy London 2012 has left to inspire younger generations to get involved in sport, but develop some sporting stars for Rio 2016,” added Jackie.
For more information about Premier League 4 Sport, contact Everton in the Community on 0151 530 5253.