Villa Noise: Weimann supports Sport Relief and Steer the Reading Star
13th Mar 2014
Started in 2002, Sport Relief is a BBC televised fundraising event which aims to unite the sporting community in aid of vulnerable people in the UK and abroad.
As part of Comic Relief, Sport Relief takes place every two years, alternating with Red Nose Day.
Sport Relief 2014 takes place next weekend and Weimann is backing the campaign strongly.
The campaign this year is to set to feature a new Only Fools and Horses sketch, starring Del Boy, Rodney - and David Beckham.
Former stars Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage are also helping out as they bid to sit on every seat in Wembley Stadium.
Weimann said: "This campaign aims to do a great deal of good. It's a very worthwhile cause and I am backing it all the way. It's great to use the power of sport to benefit those in need."
Paul Lambert is normally a picture of concentration during his weekly press conferences.
But the Villa boss was thrown out of his stride in the pre-Chelsea presser after one journalist caused a rumble.
Well, we say a rumble - but it was nothing to do with his hard-hitting questions.
The media briefing had barely started when Lambert was interrupted by a loud 'belch' which caused much hilarity in the Bodymoor Heath press conference room.
Having shook off a brief fit of giggles and poked a bit of fun in the culprit's direction, the gaffer composed himself and carried on answering questions.
But if the red-faced reporter responsible for the moment of flatulence thought things couldn't get any worse, he was cruelly mistaken as minutes later the sound of his mobile phone caused yet another disturbance.
Following an even longer pause, Lambert again returned to the subject of Saturday's game - although his struggle to keep a straight face from there on was there for all to see.
Thankfully there was no hat-trick of mishaps for the hapless hack.
Chicago Fire have been liaising with Villa about best practice methods.
Officials from Fire visited B6 to chat to members of Villa in the Community.
Organised by the British Council, the trip was specifically aimed at finding out about our Kicks scheme.
Kicks is the flagship Premier League programme delivered by the club.
The initial aim of the programme was to bring communities together and engage young people from 'at risk' geographic areas in positive, constructive activity.
But this year, the programme was revitalised through a central partnership between the Premier League and Sport England.
Emphasis remains on working with young adults aged 14 and over from areas of the city vulnerable to crime and anti-social behaviour and nurture them in a range of positive sporting and healthy lifestyle activities - principly football.
West Midlands Police are heavily involved, spearheaded by assistant chief constable Gary Forsyth, as the relationship helps to break down barriers between the police and young people - and encourage participation into the programme as a way of combatting crime.
Fire were very impressed with the scheme - and the glorious Villa Park stadium.
They also toured the city looking at our other schemes.
The link was initially forged in the USA pre-season tour of 2012, when officials met as part of the first team's visit to play Chicago Fire, Philadelphia Union and Portland Timbers.
If you are interested in joining the Kicks programme, please contact Michael Wynter on 0121 327 2299 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great to welcome China Central Television to Bodymoor Heath this week.
CCTV - as they are commonly known - are currently producing a programme about the best football academies in the world.
Villa will play a prominent part in the show, with chief executive Paul Faulkner, coach Gordon Cowans, graduates Andreas Weimann and Ciaran Clark as well as young lions Lewis Kinsella and Graham Burke starring.
Other academies featured include Ajax in Holland and Boca Juniors in Argentina.
CCTV is the main state television broadcaster in mainland China, with a network of 45 channels and accessible to more than one billion viewers.
The programme will be broadcast in April.
Jed Steer loves to get his head in a book, which is why he volunteered to be Villa's Premier League Reading Star for the year.
Steer was asked to nominate two of his favourite books - one for children, the other for adults - and chose two very different reads.
The first was The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien while his choice for the older generation was One Shot by Lee Child.
Both were picked for their claret and blue associations.
The city - and its surroundings - had a big influence on the writings of Tolkien.
The mill that features in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings must owe much to Sarehole Mill. Moseley Bog, too, may have provided inspiration for some of the settings.
Meanwhile, the names of Villa players and managers appear frequently throughout the novels of Child, whose thrillers have sold 40 million copies in 75 countries and have been translated into 38 languages.
He lives in New York and his stories about giant ex-military policeman Jack Reacher couldn't be more American.
But Child, real name Jim Grant, was born in Coventry, brought up in Handsworth Wood - and is a staunch Villan.
Steer said: "I really enjoy reading as it's an easy way to relax away from football.
"I enjoy all genres really and I like fiction and non-fiction.
"I chose The Hobbit because it's a book I remember really enjoying as a kid. It has everything you want as a child - action, adventure, battles, magic - and dragons! I couldn't have asked for more.
"My adult pick is One Shot. It's an exciting read and Jack Reacher is a fantastic main character. I enjoyed the film starring Tom Cruise but I thought the book was better!"
The Reading Stars scheme focuses on family literacy, encouraging parents to read with their children.
Ciaran Clark followed in the footsteps of David Cameron this week.
Clark visited Little Sutton Primary to check out our 'School Sports' scheme, which is really flourishing.
The 'School Sport' programme is a new initiative to increase the quality of coaching available to kids within the curriculum.
The programme takes advantage of the existing high quality work provided by our community coaches in hundreds of schools across Birmingham and beyond.
The aim is to increase participation and ensure quality physical education is received by children.
Clark was highly impressed as he watched on during a session before giving the youngsters words of high praise and having a photo taken to commemorate his visit.
Villa fan Prime Minister Cameron was extoling the virtues of the scheme several weeks ago himself.
Cameron checked out another one of our sessions - at St Brigid's Catholic Primary School in Northfield - as he launched a commitment to keep sport and health at the top of the government agenda.
Mr Cameron pledged to continue the £150million a year PE funding for primary schools until 2020 - assuming he's voted in at the next general election.
Players have been lining up over the past few weeks to hail the great atmosphere in the claret and blue camp - and here's picture evidence.
During a break from the cut and thrust of pre-match workouts on the eve of the Chelsea game, Andreas Weimann and Matt Lowton caught sight of club snapper Neville Williams - before giving him the thumbs-up.
Let's hope they're doing the same post-match on their way off the pitch against the Blues.
Bella has spoken of her sprint on to the pitch to celebrate Villa's second goal against Norwich, insisting: "I just couldn't resist giving Christian Benteke a big hug!"
Villa's female mascot caused quite a stir by charging on to the playing area to wildly high-five the giant hitman after his thumping header.
Caught up with her this week as she tucked into some grub in the Lion's Den staff canteen.
She told me: "I saw Christian running towards me. He looked so happy and I thought - 'Come here Bentekkers!'
"It was a great moment although the head groundsman said he wasn't happy with me going on the turf. I just roared at him - that shut him up."
Brad Guzan couldn't stop smiling when he was asked about the new trio of trouble at the training ground.
Guzan said: "I tell you what - they are like the Three Amigos!
"They get on so well together but they're always trying to get the better of each other. They love the banter."
Delph, of course, told AVTV two weeks ago about the brilliant humour of newboy Bertrand, informing viewers: "He's a really top lad - but he's mad, off his head!"
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