Kyle O’Connor (17) from Trafford has volunteered for around two years and is the first young volunteer to progress from an attendee at a session through all the steps in the Kickz programme to gain employment with the Club. He will be employed as a football coach at the project, in charge of developing the junior sessions on Friday evenings.
During his time with the Foundation Kyle has taken his Level 1 coaching badge and he will be progressing to Level 2 in the near future to enhance his coaching skills and techniques.
Kickz Coordinator Lee Adams said: “Kyle is a real success story for us. He has been really dedicated over the past few years and I am now proud to be able to ask him to represent Manchester United as a junior coach.”
To celebrate, Kyle was invited to the Theatre of Dreams to meet some of the first team players including Nani, Rafael and Fabio and new signings Antonio Valencia and Gabriel Obertan.
Kyle said: “It is an exciting opportunity I am grateful for all the guidance and support I have received from Manchester United Foundation’s Kickz team. It was a phenomenal day meeting the players - a dream come true - and I am looking forward to my future because of this opportunity. I hope as a role model I can inspire more young people on the Kickz programme to achieve their potential
Manchester United Foundation has been running Kickz in Trafford, since September
2006. Kickz aims to use the power of football and the appeal of the professional club brand’s to target some of the more hard to reach and challenging communities. The project aims to create safer, stronger and more respectful communities by developing young people’s potential.
Kickz sessions are held three nights a week less than ten minutes walk from the home of Manchester United. It is run at times when anti-social behaviour is at its highest, with over 400 young people regularly attending sessions. Young people attending are encouraged to volunteer and often move on to take coaching qualifications. Manchester United Kickz has been going from strength to strength with a new project opening in Salford in the next few months.