Sir Bobby and Lady Norma were welcomed to the school by selected student ambassadors and staff; they visited classrooms and enjoyed a talent showcase of musicians, dancers and singers. Later the couple visited the sports hall where year nine girls were practicing football and Sir Bobby got involved from the side-lines passing the ball back into play. The day was topped off with a plaque unveiling to commemorate the partnership between the school and Manchester United Foundation.
Year 10 pupil Abdalla, school ambassador and Manchester United fan, spoke with Sir Bobby and said of the experience: “At first it was really nerve wracking; it’s overwhelming to think that someone has done as much as he has. To be in the same room as him, it really inspired me.”
Fellow ambassador Astrid shared her thoughts on the influence that Manchester United Foundation has by saying, “There are now lots of programmes here used to reward students who have done really well and to encourage students who might need it.”
Manchester United Foundation coach Lewis Grimshaw is based at Loreto High School full time; he delivers programmes to help encourage pupils to reach their potential. Speaking of today’s launch and the impact the partnership has had on the school so far Lewis said: “One of the students I mentor has just applied to be a prefect next year; his parents said that twelve months ago he would never have gone for that but he has gained confidence and belief that he can go on and achieve more.”
Head teacher Catherine Hughes was delighted the launch and the partnership with Manchester United Foundation: “Our students really understand that our partnership with Manchester United Foundation is giving them opportunities that they would never have anywhere else; they are beginning to see that through hard work, commitment and resilience, good things will come to them.”
She added: “Tapping into a huge brand like Manchester United Foundation just makes our children feel very special, cared for and important, and for children that sense of being valued is very important. So many students have really turned it around by working with Lewis; he is such a brilliant role model for them we couldn’t have asked for a better coach.”
Partner schools benefit from full-time coaches who work closely with pupils and the community to help engage and inspire young people. Loreto supports over 750 pupils from over 34 nationalities.