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Footballer gives inspirational talk to Chislehurst primary school children

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 March 2019

Michael Turner with the children. Photo: Red Hill Primary

Michael Turner with the children. Photo: Red Hill Primary

Archant

Students at a Chislehurst school have been told each and every one of them is great during an inspirational visit from a footballer.

Michael Turner tells the youngsters to be proud of who they are. Photo: Red Hill PrimaryMichael Turner tells the youngsters to be proud of who they are. Photo: Red Hill Primary

The March 4 visit by Southend United star Michael Turner was to launch Red Hill Primary School’s positive campaign which has the footballer as its ambassador, and he will be back to check on progress.

The school used the visit to get its Great To Be Me campaign started.

It was created with the aim of promoting positive body image amongst primary children.

The school said that with growing national awareness and concern around the importance of both mental and physical health, it wanted to launch its own campaign to promote healthy and positive attitudes amongst its community of pupils and staff.

National studies from the British Journal of Developmental Psychology reported that 8per cent of boys and 14pc of girls aged nine to 10 had a negative image of their body, with girls as young as five expressing concern about the way they look and their size.

Other studies report one in four seven-year-old girls has tried to lose weight at least once, and one third of young boys aged eight to 12 are dieting to lose weight.

The school said ambassadors like Michael Turner will help support and encourage children to develop self confidence and self-belief, as well as nurture kind and accepting attitudes towards themselves and one another.

Michael shared stories of his own experiences and challenges as a professional footballer; the difficulties that can come with injury and the feelings that can come with promotion and demotion in high stakes competition.

He said: “I think it’s a really good project which encourages the children to look at themselves in such a positive way and to realise what’s great about them. And to look at others around them and realise what’s great and different about them as well, hopefully being inspired by what they see and wanting to improve themselves further.”

Michael will visit Red Hill pupils again to help develop their team work skills, positive mindsets and other important attributes needed while growing up.

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