John Ruddy put his dancing skills to the test this week as he encouraged Wolverhampton schoolchildren to get moving more throughout the day.
The Wolves goalkeeper joined club mascots Wolfie and Wendy as they entertained the children of St Luke’s CofE Primary School as part of a special BBC and Premier League Super Movers Active Assembly.
As the stopper was introduced to rapturous cheers from the children at the school, he spoke about how important being active is for young people in the UK.
“I was always outside and being active when I was young,” Ruddy said. “During the summer holidays I would be outdoors from nine o’clock in the morning, be told a time to come back for dinner, and then go straight back out afterwards.
“Obviously, it was a different world back then, a bit more relaxed, but I was always involved in sports at school as well. I wanted to be part of every team.
“I hope I can encourage young Wolves supporters to get outdoors more.
“I’ve got young children of my own who would probably rather play inside on their Xbox or PlayStation, but it’s about trying to encourage them, as a parent, to try and get out – even if it’s just in the garden, just go and do something, be outside and enjoy the fresh air.”
The Super Movers event, which was also promoting BBC Sports Personality of the Year, involved an exciting and inspiring assembly that aimed to ignite children’s imaginations, as well as encourage physical activity both in the classroom and at home.
Ruddy added: “It’s really important as parents and role models that we try and encourage that as much as we can. We play sports because we loved it as kids and we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to break into the professional game.
“But it’s really important that it starts at home, but we can also continue it in school, both during break times and after school clubs. The more we can do, the more encouraging it will be for the children as well.”
Joining Ruddy at the assembly, the St Luke’s pupils also received a visit from the BBC Sports Personality of The Year Trophy, the Premier League Trophy and television presenters Gabby Logan and Radzi Chinyanganya.
Alison Grennan, headteacher at St Luke’s CofE Primary School, described the event as ‘manic, exciting and fabulous’ for the children.
“It was wonderful for the children, the staff and the school,” she said. “For my children here to see the Premier League Trophy, to see John Ruddy, to see Gabby Logan, to see Radzi – it’s amazing for them.
“These are people the children will never forget. Our reception children weren’t in the assembly, but they could see it through the window and when they spotted Wolfie and Wendy they were all excited to meet them, and it’s made their day.
“It was a fabulous day, and let’s hope they will be changing those blue and white ribbons on the Premier League Trophy to Gold and Black ones soon.”