The Manchester United goalkeeper was invited to the Wythenshawe secondary school to take part in a training session with children from its five feeder primary schools. The regular sessions are run by coaches from the Manchester United Foundation and form part of the Foundation’s Hub of the Community project which aims to develop young people to their full potential.
During the visit, Edwin was taken on a tour of the school’s facilities before joining Manchester United Foundation coach Dave Chapman in running a skills session with the pupils from Peel Hall, The Willows, Haveley Hey, Crossacres and Ringway primary schools. The children took part in a range of dribbling and goalkeeping workshops and learnt new techniques from Edwin, before a question and answer session with MEA pupils who have achieved 100 per cent attendance at the school.
The Foundation has been working in partnership with MEA since September 2010, when the charity placed a full time Community Development Officer at the school as part of the Hub of the Community project. With the objective of attracting pupils to the Academy, the project has helped to double enrolment figures, has raised attendance by 6% and encouraged between 60 and 70 pupils to regularly attend free coaching sessions twice a week.
One of the youngsters to meet Edwin was 15 year old Aaron Rogers whose enthusiasm at the sessions has now led him to be registered as a volunteer with the Foundation’s coaching team, where he now helps to deliver sessions to the younger groups. Aaron is an example of how the project provides the young people with the support and environment to develop themselves further, where opportunities are presented for participants to learn about volunteering, explore coaching as a career path and take the qualifications that enable them to do so. Aaron said, “I love doing the coaching and I can see myself wanting to make a career of it in the future. I am learning something new every week it is very exciting for me!”
John Shiels, Manchester United Foundation Chief Executive said: “We are delighted that Edwin has shown his support at our Manchester Enterprise Academy Hub scheme. The programme has been and continues to be a great success and will only improve further when international players get behind it.”
Edwin van der Sar said: “It’s great to be here and see how enthusiastic the kids are about the school. I’m impressed to see so many children with 100% attendance, it’s clear that they enjoy school and want to learn and that can only be a good thing.”