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Solskjaer Visits Kickz

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leads a Kickz coaching session for the Foundation

| by Rachael Pilsbury
Reds legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took time out from his busy coaching schedule last week& to lead the Manchester United Foundation’s Kickz team through a special training session to prepare them for their match against Blackburn.& The former striker also invited the two teams to watch the Manchester United v Espanyol game at Old Trafford afterwards.& &

Kickz is a Football Foundation project that aims to use the appeal of professional football clubs to create safer, stronger and more respectful communities by developing young peoples potential.& Each Premier League club runs Kickz in partnership with the local police aiming to engage disadvantaged young people from the local area and encourage them to move on to volunteer and take qualifications.&

The session with Ole will be a reward for the dedicated young people who have attended Kickz sessions in Trafford throughout the year.& The team has been picked not just for their football skills but for their behaviour, attitude and attendance.& Lee Adams, Kickz Coordinator for the Foundation has identified young people who have shown real improvement and consistency in these areas over the past few months. Young volunteers who have recently moved on to take coaching qualifications through Kickz will also help out on the day.& & &

Since it began approximately 18 months ago, Kickz has significantly contributed to the reduction of crime in the local area with recent figures suggesting that crime is down by 18.5% at the times of Friday night sessions.& & The free coaching sessions are run at times when anti-social behaviour is at its highest, usually Thursday and Friday nights.&

Lee Adams, Kickz Coordinator, Manchester United Foundation explains why Ole’s visit is so important:

“A lot of the lads and girls have grown up in challenging circumstances, but I am really proud of them for the way they have behaved this year. They have all shown great commitment, regularly attending Kickz sessions and working hard to improve their situation.
“Meeting someone like Ole is a dream come true for them, they are all from the local area and many of them are big Manchester United fans. We are really grateful that Ole is giving up his time to come and share a few secrets with them.”&