Youngsters in Costessey get surprise visit from Norwich City stars
- Credit: Archant
Three Norwich City stars gave a group of budding young footballers a big surprise when they showed up unannounced to take part in a training session.
John Ruddy, Cameron Jerome and Josh Murphy turned up to surprise Costessey Sports U13s as they were training at the Norfolk FA Football Development Centre last week.
After having a kickabout with the kids, the footballers recalled their experiences of grassroots sports, sharing memories of their first club and how they first started playing.
The visit marked the launch of the Aviva Community Fund, which is a nationwide initiative that lends a helping hand to grassroots sports clubs and community causes.
It has now has reopened for a second year to offer funding between £1,000 and £25,000.
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City striker Jerome said: 'As professional players it's important for us to remember that it all started at grass-roots level. Amateur football clubs are vital in the community as they bring people together and give people the chance to have fun, get fit and make lifelong friends.
'It's been great to come down to Costessey Sports to surprise the under-13s as part of the Aviva Community Fund as they are the future of our game and important to the local community.'
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Costessey Sports, founded in 1948, runs 18 teams across senior, junior and mini level football. It was awarded the Norfolk FA Development Club of the Year and has close links with Norwich City FC.
Norwich forward Josh Murphy added: 'Grass-roots football is the start of everyone's chapter, everyone's journey. For people to be involved in grass-roots, involved in your local team, playing with your friends, that's where your passion and love for the game begins.
'From then, with all the hard work and training, that's where you kick on into academies and hopefully your career takes off.
'I'm from Wembley. I started out at my local team, Pitshanger, and I'm still in touch with some of them.'
This year, Aviva has introduced a 'Sport in the Community' category, which means the hundreds of thousands of grass-roots sports clubs across the UK can apply or reapply for funding in a sport-specific category.
The closing date for applications is noon next Tuesday.
To enter your club for a chance to secure funding, visit www.aviva.co.uk/community-fund or search for 'Aviva Community Fund'.