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Ipswich Town stars Jordan Spence and Grant Ward visit Chantry Academy for a kickabout with the students

PUBLISHED: 20:07 12 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:19 13 October 2017

Jordan Spence with the girls team.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Jordan Spence with the girls team. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Students at Chantry Academy got the chance to meet their sporting heroes yesterday as Ipswich Town stars Jordan Spence and Grant Ward popped in for a kickabout.

The visit was set up as a treat for the years 7,8 and 9 students, a mix of boys and girls, for getting involved in the schools sports clubs and activities.

PE teacher Jake Barnard said the 30 students who took part were thrilled to meet the players.

Grant Ward having a game with the students.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGrant Ward having a game with the students. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“They absolutely loved it,” he said.

“From the moment I told them they could take part they were over the moon.

Grant Ward with some of the students.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGrant Ward with some of the students. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Even if they are not Ipswich Town supporters the players are still heroes to them.

“We got the students out of their normal lessons and they came and took part in a football session led by myself with the Ipswich players.

Jordan Spence having a game with the students.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJordan Spence having a game with the students. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“The players took part in all the sessions and gave the children a few footballing tips and tricks.

“With our demographic at the school, having strong male role models is massive.
“Having people visit the school who are professional athletes and sportsmen was great for them.

Grant Ward having a game with the students.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGrant Ward having a game with the students. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“It was something the students could look forward to and something they will never forget.”

Mr Barnard said the students were only told about the town stars’ visit the day before.

Jordan Spence having a game with the students.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJordan Spence having a game with the students. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“I had left it to the last minute to let the students know the Ipswich players were coming.

“Everyone was talking about it, all the kids were going mad.

Jordan Spence having a game with the students.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJordan Spence having a game with the students. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“At the end of the football training they had a questions and answers session with the players

“They were asked all sorts of things like how long they had been playing football, how they got to play for Ipswich, what they were like as children and what were their favourite subjects at school.

Jordan Spence having a game with the students.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJordan Spence having a game with the students. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“At one point one of the girls was getting the players to sign the book she was reading and Grant Ward said read it too. She was really excited, over the moon.

“It is so positive for our local team to be supporting the school.”

Students having a game.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNStudents having a game. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The visit comes as the Suffolk FA celebrates grassroots football with its Love Football, Live Football week.

It will feature more than 40 events across nine days culminating wit the Ipswich Town vs Norwich City derby match on Sunday, October 22.

Jordan Spence having a game with the students.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJordan Spence having a game with the students. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mr Barnard said the school is hoping to make this an annual visit.

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