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Kenwyne Jones with Newstead Primary School pupilsSTOKE City striker Kenwyne Jones has been helping to inspire primary schoolchildren to follow their dreams.

The 28-year-old footballer paid a surprise visit to Newstead Primary School yesterday, where he took part in a question and answer session.

Youngsters heard how the best thing about being a sports star was experiencing the atmosphere on the pitch, with 40,000 people watching a game.

Kenwyne estimated he had scored more than 1,000 goals, including those scored during training.

He said: "I've always loved playing and didn't realise I could be a professional. I just did it for fun and then I got spotted."

The striker has been playing for the Potters since 2010.

He admitted to pupils that he was 'disappointed' at the team's performance on Sunday against Arsenal, where they lost 3-1.

Kenwyne now hopes his visit will encourage youngsters to aim for their own goals in life.

He said: "I think it's really important for sports men and women to try and inspire the kids and it's great to be a part of things like this.

"You never know what kids are going to turn out to be, whether it's a footballer or a politician, but it's good to get them interested in things."

Kenwyne also spent time playing basketball with the children.

The visit was arranged through Stoke City Community Trust, which is sponsored by The Co-operative.

Headteacher Helen Stocking said: "It's good to get people like Kenwyne to come and speak to the children.

"It gives them role models and shows them they can be anything they want to be if they work hard and try hard."

The school was rated outstanding by Ofsted last Christmas and Mrs Stocking, who has been the headteacher for six years, says it is because the school 'goes the extra mile'.

She added: "Visits like these have such a positive impact.

"Things like this get the children interested and they want to come to school."

Wayne Allerton, from Stoke City Community Trust, coaches the children at Newstead Primary every Monday.
He said: "Kenwyne's visit was great.

"It gives the children confidence and then it's my job to help to build them up to their next level of ability."

Michelle Baker, Newstead's deputy headteacher, was also impressed with the children's enthusiasm.

She said: "It's a great experience for them. He was playing in the match against Arsenal on Sunday and then the next day he was in our school."