Children’s Book Week 2021: Feyenoord Rotterdam players read to kids
First team players at Feyenoord Jacintha Weimar and Celainy Obispo read aloud at the Van Brienenoord School in Rotterdam IJsselmonde on Thursday, in the context of the Children’s Book Week. The two players are active on the pitch as social coaches for Feyenoord, contributing to the school’s sports and education programme.
Full of expectations, the children of the Van Brienenoordschool were ready in their classrooms at 9 o’clock on Wednesday morning. Goalkeeper Jaycintha Weimar and defender Celainy Obispo are familiar faces as social trainers, but for the pupils it is still special to have the women they see on television every weekend in front of their classroom. Weimar and Obispo read to the children from the latest adventure of Coentje and his friends, a book that is also available in the Feyenoord Fanshop. Besides reading, the players also took some time to answer questions from the children, because who can tell more about the theme of the children’s book week “Become what you want” than two professional football players?
“It gives me a lot of satisfaction to work with children in this way,” says Weimar. “In that respect, Feyenoord gives me the best of both worlds: on the pitch I’m involved in sports with the first women’s team at Feyenoord and off the pitch I’m a social trainer.” Obispo completely agrees with her teammate. “I mainly have to deal with young primary school children. Their eagerness to learn and their inquisitive nature gives me a lot of energy. Hopefully they enjoyed reading to me as much as I did.”
That the Van Brienenoordschool could count on a visit from the players is of course no coincidence. It is one of the schools where Feyenoord is active with the School Sport Plus programme. For a whole year children at these schools get extra exercise training on a daily basis. Exercise is not only healthy, but during this programme sport is used to develop social-emotional skills. Feyenoord believes that sufficient exercise improves concentration, motivation, fitness and thus school performance, while preventing obesity.