12 Days of Christmas - Michail Antonio congratulates students for being green
West Ham United's 12 Days of Christmas community drive continues as Michail Antonio surprised Year 6 pupils at Quilters Junior School in Essex!
The 12 Days of Christmas initiative - starting on December 13 and running until Christmas Eve - marks the third anniversary of the Players’ Project, the ground-breaking concept where players from the Club’s men’s, women’s and Academy teams pledge their time to help local people and good causes.
The Hammers forward joined the students to congratulate them on their efforts in the Planet Super League Cup 26 competition, where they represented West Ham United and scored points by completing environmentally friendly activities to help save the planet – assisting the Club to be the best performing in the Premier League and achieve fifth place overall.
Antonio opened the call saying: “I just want to say congratulations for all of your efforts. I’ve heard what you’ve done, getting all of the points for being green, getting all of the points for West Ham. Congratulations and well done!”
Teams had over 80 different activities to choose from - some about cutting emissions, some about saving water and materials, and others about learning about the natural world and getting out into nature.
The striker went on to ask some of the children what their favourite ways to reduce their carbon footprint had been so far, and received a range of responses:
“I defrosted my fridge and used LED lights as well,” said one student. Another stated: “I have been having more vegetarian meals because I always have meat meals.”
I’m a big believer in being green and obviously looking after the world
The class was in agreement that although they had improved, turning off the lights had been difficult to remember to do and the striker empathised, remarking that his children also struggle to do that.
During the call Antonio exchanged thoughts on favourite goal celebrations, answered their questions regarding his career highlights so far, and, shared some of the environmentally friendly things he likes to do. This included cycling which he recognised was good for the environment and good for his recovery too, explaining: “The day after a game, I like to go cycling; it helps to flush the blood round the legs and get rid of the lactate and it’s something I actually really enjoy doing. You get to actually see London and see the sites.”
Headteacher Michael Wade told Antonio that the league table of points for environmentally friendly activities completed had spurred the schoolchildren on, and that engaging the students inside and outside of school had increased the effect on them.
“We didn’t do many of the tasks in school. It was important for the children to take the tasks home because if I tell them to turn the lights off that’s important but if I encourage them here about the environment enough that they turn the lights off because they want to instead of because they’ve been told to, that’s a different level of engagement,” Wade said, adding: “I think they’ve learned a lot about how to reduce carbon in really easy and straight forward ways.”
On the impact of West Ham’s involvement, Wade expressed: “Someone walks in wearing a West Ham bit of kit, the children are more likely to listen to them than they’ll ever listen to me… they’re far more likely to listen to Michail than they are to me. So, if he tells them to turn the lights off, they’ll turn the lights off.
“The Club has really engaged our children and the children have been inspired by them and excited. It’s made a big difference to our children.”
“I’m a big believer in being green and obviously looking after the world. So, I feel like it’s not something just do for now it’s something to do for the rest of your life. The earth is our home, the earth is where we live and so if you look after the earth the earth will look after us”, Antonio affirmed.