The group of 12 volunteers have been working with Foundation partner Challenger Sports to develop their skills in different coaching environments, and were selected to travel to stateside as a result of their volunteering contributions with the Foundation over the last 12 months. Many of the volunteers have contributed over 99 hours of their time on projects across Greater Manchester.
Foundation volunteer, Macenzie Whittaker, was one of the lucky participants who has spent the last eight weeks coaching soccer camps in Ohio. His experience coaching in the USA has been an eye opener for the young volunteer; he said “Back home everyone grows up with football and everyone always wants to play. Over here it’s a new sport and a new language for a lot of the kids to learn.”
He added “I’ve adapted my sessions to include some techniques from my volunteering background. It also really helps to be associated with Manchester United as the US fan base seems to be growing and I feel privileged to be representing the badge. It’s satisfying to help these kids with a new sport and see an improvement in their ability over each week. “
Manchester United Foundation volunteering co-ordinator, Martin Ingham, explained the importance of the experience for the young volunteers, “These are great opportunities for the volunteers to develop themselves further, personally and professionally and our Volunteer Ninety Nine project puts them in a great position to access these opportunities.”
He concluded, “The experienced gained whilst working abroad will be of a great benefit to Manchester United Foundation and the communities these young people serve, as they bring this experience and cultural learning back with them.”