Nampalys Mendy joined the LCFC Community Trust at Fullhurst Community College in Leicester on Tuesday to officially open two new 3G pitches.
The City midfielder took time out from his preparations for the Premier League trip to face Southampton on Sunday afternoon to cut the ribbon on two brand new, state-of-the-art pitches in Braunstone Town.
In coordination with Premier League Kicks, the project is designed to inspire boys, girls and vulnerable young people to engage with football and to give them opportunities which they may not have received through other channels.
Speaking to LCFC TV on Tuesday afternoon, Mendy, 24, said: “For the Club, it is fantastic because the children like Leicester City and it is good for us to come to see the children.
“In France at my school, we didn’t have pitches like this so it’s a big difference. This is a big college and in England you are lucky. For the children, it is very good to play on a good pitch.
“When you try to play football, it is better when you have a good pitch. It is a good opportunity. It’s good because I know the children like to see the players, they are happy. I also am happy to see them.
“It is important because the Club and the supporters are very close and together. If you want to win games, we need the supporters so it’s good.”
Tom Campbell, principle at Fullhurst Community College, was overjoyed to welcome Mendy onto the grounds and revealed many of the pupils are dedicated members of the Blue Army.
He said: “It’s been a great privilege for Mendy to come and have a kick-around with our pupils. He is one of their heroes - as many of the Leicester City players are.
“It is great to recognise the work the kids are doing with the Club. We have lots of programs here involving boys, girls and venerable children. Football has been a vehicle to engage them through the branding of the Club.
“From the maths classrooms, on the top of the third floor, you can see into the stadium and when there’s midweek games, all the kids are pining to be at the other side of the window.
“It’s great to bring a bit of Leicester City into school life and make it that bit more tangible. Certainly the success that Leicester enjoyed last season had a big knock-on effect for kids in the city.
“It was an inspiration and I don’t think they’ll be forgetting that for many years.”
LCFC Community Trust Community Cohesion Manager James Lowbridge, meanwhile, stressed the importance of the bond which exists between the Club and their youngest supporters.
Lowbridge also added that projects such as these open up a relationship between City and the community which may not have existed if not for Mendy's appearance.
“On this brand new facility, we’ve been working in partnership with the school for Premier League Kicks and Premier League girls' projects,” he said.
“Both projects are free opportunities for young people, both boys and girls, in the local area of Braunstone and what a fantastic facility to demonstrate them on.
“Players are role models for young people. Leicester City players at this current moment are huge stars in the local community and globally as well.
“Mendy has been fantastic with the young people and what a massive impact he’s going to have. The smiles on their faces tell the story.
“Being here and having players come down to all of our programmes has a huge impact. It increases the Club’s reach to communities which may not necessarily be able to engage with the Club at games – so we’re taking the Club into the community instead.”