ITV Fever Pitch is a fan park at the former Granada Studios in Manchester and is hosting World Cup matches on the big screens and beach soccer events throughout the tournament.
The Foundation was offered two days to use the facilities to celebrate its work in the local communities, and decided to give pupils an unforgettable experience.
“We chose to work with some of our hub schools – primary schools that we work with throughout the year,” said Dave Chapman, hub development manager for Manchester United Foundation. “These pupils are year six so they’ve got exams and a big year ahead going into high school so this is really just a thank you to them for all the hard work they’ve put in with us and a bit of a treat.”
11-year-old pupil Mason added, “We’ve been playing five-a-side and it’s been really hard to pass the ball because the sand is really bumpy. I think I’ve been chosen for good football skills and good team work; it makes me feel quite proud of myself and very happy.”
The pupils enjoyed interacting and playing against other schools and were even paid a surprise visit by club mascot Fred the Red. The sun also came out for the occasion ensuring the perfect beach atmosphere.
“The kids loved it,” concluded Dave. “With the heat today I think some of them are finding it quite tough but they like the idea of being able to throw themselves around on the sand and not get hurt. They mixed with other pupils really well and you could hear by the noise and all the laughing that they just loved it.”
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