In The Community

Over the last couple of weeks I've been able to catch up with some of my community and commercial appearances.

Playstation- Firstly I had a great afternoon at Newcastle Academy in Stoke for the Playstation Schools Cup, the biggest school football competition in the country. PSSCup aims to provide opportunities and motivations to school children to get out and get active. The day consisted of meeting some of the school pupils, answering some of their questions and catching up on media commitments too. I won't mention the results of the games of FIFA, i was a bit rusty. Also caught up with Soccer AM's Tubes and Sky Sports Gamechangers involving giving out a few tips to some young goalkeepers.

Kick It Out- Ive also been at the Stoke YMCA in my ambassadorial role for Kick It Out, tacklers of racism and discrimination. Its great to be involved in such an organisation which is doing a fantastic job of educating people on a subject that is still a problem in todays society. Racism and discrimination in football is a problem and Kick It Out workshops are helping to get people talking about their experiences, what they deem to be racism and helping them understand the correct terminology to be using. Paul Henry Mortimer, one of the front runners of Kick It Out regular asks to class to describe players of different backgrounds which even today creates a very interesting response. Paul is black, which is a fact and correct, yet for so many people its very difficult for them to open their mouths and say it to him. That is why I'm very proud to be a part of the Kick It Out work, its continually helping to educate people on racism and discrimination in life and not just football and its doing a very good job. For any information on Kick It Out and its work simply search @KickItOut on twitter or instagram, or search google.

Jacks of London- Jacks of London are one of the leading Barbors in the UK, priding themselves on the all round Barbor experience whilst also giving the services and results. Im very proud to be a brand ambassador for Jacks and extremely excited for whats to come in the future. I made my way down to one of their stores in Guildford, London last month for the release of their own brand of products "THE TRUE GENT RANGE" and experiencing first hand the Jacks experience. Drinks offered on arrival, both alcoholic and non alcoholic, don't worry, it was a non alcoholic one for me, along with the latest in technology and highest personal service eventually a brilliant experience in the chair. Before Christmas ill have a twitter giveaway of some of their awesome new products from the TRUE GENT range, but until then check out the the website, jacksoflondon.co.uk, Twitter and Instagram pages both @jacksoflondonuk to see some of their work and much much more about them.

Finally, i had the chance to really give something back. Working with the Premier League and my sponsors Nike, it was time to give back as part of the Premier League Kit Scheme. Each year Premier League players put money together to give brand new kits back to schools around the country. Thankfully it was down to me to be the giver of some early Christmas Presents. I was on hand at Newstead Primary in Stoke, to answer some of the youngsters questions, have a kick about, pose for a few pictures but most importantly hand over a brilliant new kit to the school. Personally it was a wonderful feeling to see the smiles on the kids faces and see how motivated they were to get out in the playground and get playing in the new kit. Job done.

As players we are in a very privileged position doing what we do, but theres no greater feeling than seeing what a positive impact we can have on the younger generations.