Young footballers at AFC Bournemouth’s Premier League Kicks recently had a surprise visit from stars Chris Mepham and Matt Butcher.
The delighted youngsters had a tour of the Cherries’ Vitality Stadium with the centre-back and midfielder, who then attended a Q&A session.
Centre-back Chris, AFC Bournemouth’s project ambassador, said it was both a rewarding and grounding experience to take part in the session.
Beales, the long-established department store, is the official partner of the club’s self-funding, non-profit Community Sports Trust (CST) and sponsors the Bournemouth region of Premier League Kicks for the third consecutive season.
Over 1,500 young people each season take part in the growing project which offers free football in a safe environment.
Encouraging the young players
Beales Chief Executive Officer Tony Brown said: “We are so pleased to see that the hugely successful Premier League Kicks programme continues to expand in this region, as the CST adds new sessions throughout the season.
“It encourages young people to get involved in playing sports, which sees them benefit from a healthier lifestyle, improved well-being and, most importantly, offers them a safe environment to enjoy themselves.
“Beales’ position is at the heart of the community we serve – as is AFC Bournemouth’s – as we see it very much as part of our social responsibility to give something back to the people who support us.”
Amy Marks, the club’s Partnerships Manager, said: “Beales department stores began trading in 1991 and last year was put under its new ownership after a management buyout.
“We are particularly thrilled that as Beales is returning to its philosophy as a family department store group offering fine brans and products at attractive prices, the business should continue to show the Cherries so much support.”
The Beales store in Old Christchurch Road houses a collection of official AFC Bournemouth merchandise, including replica kits for adults and children, training wear for both adults and kids, plus men’s fashion, souvenirs and accessories.
In Poole’s Dolphin Centre Beales store there are home and away shirts, socks and shorts for adults and children and a limited amount of adult training wear due to space restrictions.