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ATC tour

Foundation coach helps local charity with an early Christmas present

Christmas came early for the Better Things charity as Foundation Health Coordinator, Steve Hoy, organised an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Manchester United’s AON Training Complex for 20 young adults with learning disabilities.

The tour of the state-of-the-art facility allowed the group to witness the inner workings of the Manchester United first team with visits to the gym, laundry room, training pitches and staff canteen. The group also met with Manchester United assistant coach Marcel Bout, a key member of Louis van Gaal’s backroom staff and a specialist in competition scouting. 

Steve, who is a champion for health projects in the Wythenshawe community was pleased with the unique opportunity that had been given to the young adults, he said, “Today was all about the group, it’s something they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives, it’s an opportunity that the charity can value, and how many people can say they’ve had a tour of the training ground?”

He added, “Manchester United is a huge football club and there’s no denying that when people see the badge they see excellence, but  it’s then up to the Foundation coaches to work within local communities to bring out the best in people.“

Kate Maggs, chief executive of Better Things enthused about the difference the trip will make to the young people, she said “As a result of their learning disabilities, a lot of these guys don’t always get the chance to come out and watch matches, so something like this where they can come out together and have this experience is just an amazing opportunity. 

She added, “Our guys are really vulnerable and they are marginalised in society so it’s really lovely that the club and first team staff can see and what this experience means to people.”

The Better Things charity benefits from weekly football coaching sessions for its members, with Manchester United Foundation working closely with Wythenshawe Community Housing Group to promote inclusion, health and wellbeing in the Wythenshawe area.