Santander UK has enlisted their brand ambassadors, Jeremy Lynch and Billy Wingrove – popularly known as The F2 Freestylers – and teamed up with Twinkl, a renowned educational resources platform, to improve children’s skills in mathematics.
The closure of schools has been seen in many countries during the covid-19 pandemic, in order to protect children’s health and get back to normal as soon as possible. However, the lockdown may have a negative impact on their wellbeing due to a lack of physical activity. Research suggests that this problem can be solved with just 15 minutes of exercise per day, boosting young peoples’ memory and attention span.
Santander UK wanted to highlight the transformative potential of football to foster learning skills among children aged between 5 and 11 in line with the academic programmes run by UK schools. We launched The Numbers Game, along with Twinkl and The F2 Freestylers, a free-style duo highly acclaimed on social media because of their popular videos showcasing their ball skills and ability to overcome challenges. Such is their popularity that they have notched up 2.3 billion views and 12 million subscribers on YouTube.
Based on weekly tests and a final challenge that certifies participants’ success, we aim to stimulate learning and the development of mathematical skills using the universal language of football. For example, reciting the two times table while doing kick-ups with a ball. In this way, we offer educational and fun activities free of charge that encourage children to be active and, at the same time, provides a useful tool for parents and carers while schools are closed temporarily. These materials are produced by Twinkl, an educational publishing house that won the Queen’s Award for Innovation for its more than 640,000 academic resources for young people, parents and teachers.
In 2019 we developed a platform called The Numbers Game in association with National Numeracy, our official partner in charitable causes in the United Kingdom, to help people learn mathematics. Since then it has toured 12 cities in the United Kingdom. Of the more than 30,000 people who have taken part, 85% say that they have gained a better understanding of the importance of numbers in their day-to-day work and 86% manage their money better since gaining more knowledge on the subject.
This initiative at local level is part of our global sponsorship strategy called FootballCan, for promoting football’s ability to have a positive impact on people’s lives. We are using this concept to show our commitment to society and our search for progress in society through the potential of the top sport in the world as an agent for change.