Roberto Martinez and Phil Jagielka were in London on Wednesday morning to attend the launch event for the new Barclays Premier League season.
Joined by their counterparts from Manchester City, Sunderland and Leicester City, the Everton manager and captain were present at Capital City Academy as the Premier League announced a new £10.5million three-year programme of support for primary school sport nationwide.
The scheme was piloted last season by Everton in the Community, along with 24 other Premier League and Football League clubs, and delivered over 66,000 physical education sessions in England and Wales.
The success of the model has now seen the Premier League invest the additional funds to roll the project out across a further 42 clubs, providing opportunities for thousands more young children to access fun, high-quality sport sessions in schools.
This move has been welcomed by Blues boss Martinez who, speaking at the launch, told evertontv: “As a football club, we at Everton have always got a real focus on community work and it’s always great to see the Premier League using their funds to try and help the game become an even more important vehicle. We are very proud to be part of it.”
The pilot year saw Everton in the Community coaches deliver the sports sessions to 40 primary schools throughout Merseyside and this additional Premier League investment will now see the Club’s official charity branch out even further across the region.
“We were invited to be part of the pilot project and we were keen to be involved in that,” said Everton in the Community chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale. “We expect to double the amount of primary schools we came into contact with last year, so this is another endorsement for our charity and we always want to do more.”
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore added: “Investing in the primary school sector, where everything begins, is a perfect fit with our overarching strategy of aiming to get more people playing sport.”
Nine local school children from Merseyside and Everton in the Community representative Mick King also travelled to London to take part in the Premier League season launch.
The youngsters took part in a mini-tournament with the other three clubs in attendance and were joined in a coaching session by Jagielka.
The Blues skipper and manager Martinez were also interviewed by numerous print, radio and broadcast journalists to preview the new campaign.