Western Pride FC players and Boonah State School students launched an education program on Friday aimed at sharing the joy of reading and life-long learning.

The Learning With Pride program is designed to promote reading to the students as a fundamental part of a healthy and active life.

During the program senior Pride players and coaches will read to students and hand out Learning With Pride awards.

Between visits players will connect with the students via email and video to share reading experiences and discuss what it means to be an active student and member of the community.

Principal Mark Winrow said the players were perfect role models for students to inspire a love of learning, and in particular reading.

“We want our children to see the many opportunities which can be unlocked when they learn with pride,” Winrow said.

“This program will give them real world examples of how learning and reading are essential skills for transforming their dreams into reality.”

Football will form part of the program with Pride conducting skills sessions at the school and participate in the region’s football Gala Days.

Boonah State School will in turn organise students to attend Pride matches throughout the PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues season.  

Winrow said the partnership was inspired by the Manchester United Foundation which used a mixture of educational programs and football coaching to help young people build a future.

“There is a growing body of research which draws a direct link between healthy bodies and healthy minds and we hope that this program will extract these benefits for our children,” Winrow said.

“We hope regular contact our children will have with the players and coaching staff at Western Pride will encourage a healthy lifestyle in our children.”

Western Pride Technical Director Gabor Ganczer said Western Pride was committed to developing well-rounded young people, not only great athletes.

“We consider reading as a very similar tool to sport because in both you learn life lessons while you enjoy doing them,” Ganczer said.

“Our players will assist children to recognise the importance of an active life style and reading for leisure.”

Ganczer hinted out some football-related books may appear on the reading list.

“There is a lots of reading materials around football, which will bring a common passion to the study desk or bedside table,” Ganczer said.

Words: Garry McKenzie
Photo: Boonah State School
Western Pride Media: media@westernpridefc.com.au