Students at Choppington Primary School were star-struck when the United winger made a surprise appearance on the classroom’s smartboard during their Financial Football lesson delivered by Newcastle United Foundation this week.
Working with staff at the Foundation – the official charity arm of the Club – Saint-Maximin arranged to provide Nintendo Switch Lites for disadvantaged schoolchildren in the region to brighten their day.
Appearing via video, the 24-year-old Frenchman told pupils in the class that they would each be leaving school with one of the handheld games consoles, allowing them to play games at home or on the go with friends, schoolmates and family.
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A total of 11 devices, in an array of colours, were distributed during the Year 6’s regular Financial Football lesson with Newcastle United Foundation – a maths class helping improve young peoples’ understanding of money and equipping them with the skills and confidence to apply numeracy in their everyday life.
The weekly sessions, funded by asset management company Liontrust, uses the popularity of the Magpies to encourage schoolchildren to learn key budgeting skills through innovative football-themed numeracy challenges.
Through the Foundation and Liontrust’s partnership over the last two years, pupils from Newcastle to Northumberland have increased their financial acumen by working through real-life scenarios in class – from managing football club assets to totting up club merchandise sales.
Saint-Maximin, a keen supporter of the Foundation’s work across the North East, said: “I hope these gifts make the children feel good – they are only young and deserve to be happy and to enjoy themselves.
“I want to make sure young people can share some happiness and have fun together after such a difficult time for everyone and I hope this helps families who might not have much.”
He added: “I told the young people we might all be able to play together online with my kids too using the Nintendo Switches. That would be amazing.”
Last month, Saint-Maximin was named as a Professional Footballers’ Association Community Champion for 2020/21, celebrating his continued involvement with Newcastle United Foundation programmes and his commitment to supporting families and individuals in need.
The award came shortly after the key figure for the Magpies generously donated 60 care packages to support key workers at the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, supplying gift cards for High Street shops, luxury chocolate boxes and a note of appreciate from the player.
Steve Beharall, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “It has been fantastic to help provide these schoolchildren with a treat from one of their heroes and we hope they all have hours of fun playing together with friends and with family members at home.
“It is our pleasure as a Foundation to work so closely with Allan and the Club and to help facilitate the distribution of these donations to communities and individuals we work with daily and who we know will appreciate these gifts so much.
“We are incredibly grateful to Allan for once again reaching out to us and we look forward to inspiring and enriching more communities across the North East together through our charity work with more than 66,000 people each year.”