Youngsters get chance to ask questions when Leeds United stars visit school

PIC: Tony Johnson
PIC: Tony Johnson
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Hotshot young journalists from a Leeds primary school really had news to make the headlines – when they welcomed two Leeds United stars to their classroom.

Children from Cookridge Primary School welcomed Pontus Jansson and Eunan O’Kane to class yesterday (Feb 2) after pupil Molly Jackson won a Yorkshire Evening Post competition.

Molly Jackson. PIC: Tony Johnson

Molly Jackson. PIC: Tony Johnson

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Molly and her classmates participated in the YEP’s Make The News 2017 project, a scheme where each child is given a booklet filled with activities designed to help develop literacy skills. They also received copies of the YEP each week for six weeks.

And as part of the scheme, youngsters in more than a dozen participating schools were encouraged to design their own front pages for a competition – with the top prize of a visit from the Whites superstars.

Yesterday, Cookridge Primary’s extremely excited year six class waited patiently for the arrival of Jansson and O’Kane after a quick, and very loud, sing-song of ‘Marching on Together’ in preparation.

PIC: Tony Johnson

PIC: Tony Johnson

The class certainly weren’t short of questions as they took turns finding out more about two of their favourite players. They even managed to find some juicy gossip – discovering O’Kane’s favourite food is chocolate cake and Swede Jansson seems to be less than impressed with the kebabs on offer in England.

After the pupils probed the players about their diets, O’Kane revelaed: “We have to be careful because we get told off if we get a little fat.” Meaning, strictly no chocolate cake allowed.

As well as their eating habits, the players had some inspiring words of wisdom after being asked by the students how they were motivated to play football. Although Jansson claims to have been pushed to play by his brothers, both players agreed: “If you love it enough and you find it fun, you should be able to motivate yourself.”

One of the pupils was interested to find out just how hard it would be to get to where they are now and asked: “Does it take a lot of hard work and time?” With a chuckle, the pair managed to agree with each other: “Some days are tougher than others, we get to have fun and call it a job.”

Afterwards, teacher Nick Kershaw said: “The class loved the scheme. It encouraged them to write, and they were instantly engaged. We would definitely take part again.”

Year six pupil Molly Jackson managed to scoop the winner’s title after impressing YEP editor Hannah Thaxter with her dazzling artwork and thorough research.

“It was really fun. I liked coming up with the ideas for stories with everyone in class,” Molly said.

She managed to use her new journalistic skills to get a quote from an ex science teacher, but her best story is of course about football.

“The Leeds United story was my favourite!”

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