The attacker was the latest Reds’ first-teamer to give up his time to support initiatives within the local community.
Premier League Kicks is a programme that aims to engage and promote physical activity in children across Barnsley. Through the Premier League funded system, sessions use sporting activities to divert young people aged between 8 and 19 away from antisocial and sedentary lifestyles.
When Jacob arrived at Dorothy Hyman, he took part in an engaging question and answer session before moving on to refereeing some small-sided games. He also gave out matchday tickets to lucky Reds’ fans to attend any Barnsley Football Club game of their choice.
Jacob is no stranger to giving back to the community, over the course of the year, he has willingly been involved in events that propel local causes, leading to a nomination for Reds’ EFL Player in the Community 2019/20 as part of the Football League Annual Awards.
Speaking about his first visit to Premier League Kicks at Dorothy Hyman, Jacob said:
It was good, I was only reffing but it was good. Seeing the kids getting involved and enjoying their football.
I think it’s very important [players in the community] because it’s only half an hour out of the players time, for these kids it’s massive. When I was younger growing up it’s somthing I would have liked to have had.
When you are younger people like me and other footballers are role models and can set a good example and be there for the kids and goiiove them something to look up to.
It’s good for them to get exercise and it’s good for them to be out socialising and make some friends doing something they love doing.
This is the first time a player from Barnsley Football Club has attended a Premier League Kicks session and Senior Community Coach James Cooke believes the visit had a massive impact on encouraging young people to stay off the streets and channel their energy through sport.
He added: It’s massivley important to the youngsters that come down, it shows them that players for Barnsley FC do care about the community and give them the opportunity to ask a few important questions about fixtures and give them an insight into what professional footballers.
The Premier League Kicks sessions have plenty of benefits, it keeps the kids off the streets, it gets them out of their bedrooms off the Playstation or Xbox. It’s a good insight to what its like away from school involved in sport, they have school sport programmes that they will have throught the day but there is also evening provisions they can come out to and be social with other children and interacing with adults in the football world.