Tony Blair was back in the North East celebrating the achievements of young people who have been part of his Sports Foundation (TBSF), now in its seventh year.
Part of his tour took in Woodham Academy and everyone was delighted to see the former Prime Minister and Aycliffe MP, back in the constituency. Tony was his usual ebullient self mixing well with the students and staff, playing indoor tennis, presenting certificates and giving an inspirational speech at the school assembly. He was met at the school by MP Phil Wilson and Head Teacher Christine Forsyth.
He was joined by popular sporting paralympian Stephen Miller and his wife Rachel. Stephen received the Sports Foundation  certificate from Tony to mark the partnership between their Community Interest group “SMILE through Sport” and the Tony Blair Foundation.
Tony Blair said: “I’m proud of what people in the foundation have built over the last seven years. I did not expect such a demand for coaches, but more than 4,400 coaches and officials have come through the programme. This is hugely important, because in the North East we have the facilities, but need coaches to give kids better access to sports. I’ve been amazed by the numbers of people going through the programme. It’s a tribute to the great people who work for the Foundation.”
The Tony Blair Sports Foundation, launched in the North East by the former Prime Minister, aims to get more young people involved in sport by recruiting, training and placing more sports coaches and officials into grassroots sport for the benefit of children in our communities, whatever their sporting ability.
Since 2007 TBSF has recruited and qualified over 4,400 volunteer coaches and leaders in athletics, basketball, cricket, cycling, rowing, tennis, football and gymnastics. For information about the Foundation: www.tonyblairsportsfoundation.org

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