Wellbeing: Liverpool Captain Jordan Henderson on fatherhood, fitness and getting kids outdoors

The footballer and father of three is on a mission to get extra kids into the attractive recreation. By Imy Brighty-Potts.

Football grew to become Jordan Henderson’s life when he joined Sunderland AFC at simply eight years previous, and it has been ever since. His mother and father dedicated to maintaining him within the recreation – it doesn’t matter what else was going on – and he’s reaping these rewards now.

“I’ve at all times been near my dad, though my mother and father break up up once I was six. It was a tricky time,” the 31-year-old Liverpool captain displays. “But I suppose soccer introduced me nearer to my dad, as a result of the time I bought to spend with him was when he was taking us to coach and taking us to soccer.”

Henderson now has three kids along with his spouse Rebecca Burnett – daughters Elexa (born in 2014) and Alba (2015), and son Myles (2020) – and, aged simply two, his youngest has already proven an curiosity within the lovely recreation.

“He’s kicking the ball round, he’ll run and kick the ball on the purpose,” says Henderson. “It’s so good to spend time with the kids and play soccer with them within the backyard.”

Elexa is getting extra and extra into the sport, too – even amassing Match Attax soccer playing cards. “My lady has began taking part in now and enjoys it. I’m going to strive and get out and watch the Women’s Euros over this summer time, as a result of she is asking questions and getting concerned in it now.”

Henderson is aware of how large an impression sport can have in youth, which is why he is supporting the McDonald’s Fun Football programme – aiming to get kids into soccer by offering over 10 million hours of teaching in parks and playgrounds throughout the UK over the subsequent 4 years.

After the disruption of the pandemic, Henderson suggests it’s important to “get kids again taking part in soccer collectively, socialising and having fun with taking part in soccer with totally different individuals”.

He continues: “It’s most likely the most important sport within the nation – all people can get pleasure from it. Even going to the video games, getting kids to go and watch soccer is basically good. Hopefully this programme can actually get kids concerned, and there might be some particular expertise coming from the subsequent era.”

Henderson is an enormous advocate for “the self-discipline it can provide you” and says: “You’re following instruction. I feel a whole lot of good gamers that I’ve seen went down totally different paths – a few of them have been so proficient, however they did not have the self-discipline.

“I feel soccer might help with that self-discipline. Being in a crew surroundings and having duty for different individuals is basically particular, and the crew ethics you want aren’t solely necessary in soccer – however in life.”

And Henderson understands there are totally different pressures on kids these days – making sport much more necessary.

“Football is superb train for kids, and getting them outdoors to naturally do an exercise, that is necessary. I’ve bought kids myself – TikTok and being in the home on the iPad is okay at occasions, however I do like them getting out, exercising and doing stuff.”

Jordan Henderson and McDonald’s Fun Football is asking on mother and father to kick begin their kid’s soccer journey. Visit McDonalds.com/Football and comply with @FunFootballUK on Twitter and Instagram to seek out your nearest session


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