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David and Ali

Making an Impact

Manchester United’s chief executive David Gill visited Foundation projects across Manchester this week to help us highlight our 2011 Impact Report.

Making an Impact

David met the children who take part in our various projects and the coaches that put their heart and soul into making a difference to Manchester’s youth.

First stop was a trip to Stretford High, a local partner school, where the Foundation runs education sessions to help ‘hard-to-reach’ youngsters gain skills that will ultimately help them find work.

The visit came on the same day as an announcement that the unemployment rate dropped from a 12-year high of 8.4% to 8.3%.  Whilst at the school, David met Fatima Noor who has taken part in the project and subsequently found employment with the Club as a match day runner. 

Speaking of her job, Fatima said: “I never imagined that I would work for Manchester United.  It’s like meeting a celebrity; you just don’t think it will happen to you, so when it does it’s incredible.”

David was then asked to shoot a few baskets at Trinity High School in Hulme, location for the Premier League 4 Sport initiative which teaches kids badminton, table-tennis and volleyball in advance of the Olympic Games later this year.

The Foundation’s Salford Cohesion project was next on the agenda. A trip to Ordsall enabled David to show off his football skills in five-a-side matches with local youngsters from the nearby estate. 

Finally, the evening was spent at Salford Sports Village watching the Disability Greater Manchester Ability Counts League.  United fielded a deaf team and two PAN-disability sides (physical and neurological) against the likes of Manchester City, Everton and Wigan Athletic, with the chief exec impressed by the high standard on show in the competitive seven-a-side matches.

“We've seen a whole cross-section of projects,” said David. “You can read about them, talk about them in board meetings and get to hear about them in an Impact Report but to actually come out and meet the people doing them is fantastic. It's brilliant to speak to the coaches and young people.

“You’ve got to start from your home base and start in Manchester and then go around the world. There’s no point being huge in Asia, if you’re not big in Manchester.”

Read the 2011 Impact Report in full.