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England and United Legend Bryan Robson launches Foundation partner schools

England football legend and Manchester United ambassador Bryan Robson officially launched the Foundation’s latest partner schools.

| by Katie Newton
Manchester United Foundation works with 20 high schools across Greater Manchester and Bryan was delighted to visit Manchester Enterprise Academy (MEA) Central and Dean Trust Wigan this week, to celebrate the two new partnerships.

Across the two events Bryan toured the schools, dropping into food technology and art lessons and even taking part in a drama performance at MEA Central, and a football-themed science workshop at Dean Trust Wigan, during which the students were emulating drug testing and analysing the material strength of shin pads.

“Some of the classes were outstanding,” said Bryan. “I was concerned I was going have to get involved with the dancing and singing and I’m not the best!

“It’s fantastic that Manchester United Foundation has these partnerships with schools,” he continued. “You’ve got the health and fitness side to it but you’ve also got the educational side too, which is a very important part of kids growing up so it’s a great initiative.”

Each school benefits from the presence of a full time Manchester United Foundation coach, who works with the students, feeder primary schools and within the local community to build lasting relationships.  The core focus of each partnership is leadership and this was showcased at the launch events through practical football sessions, during which high school sports leaders led mini-World Cup tournaments for local primary school pupils, and they were delighted for Captain Marvel himself to join in.

“Bryan got involved with the football tournament and the best part of it was when he explained to us what a team is and we all need to work together to make something happen,” said Tilla, a year 7 pupil at MEA Central.

Following the tournaments, Bryan took part in Q&A sessions with pupils at each school, telling stories from his illustrious Manchester United and England career and giving the children advice.

“It’s amazing because we are a new school and a legend like Bryan Robson has come to see us,” said Aqeel, from MEA Central.  “He gave us advice like to behave in lessons and if you have a dream then to be ambitious and work hard towards it.”

Dylan, a year 9 student at Dean Trust Wigan, said, “It’s pretty surreal having Bryan here today, knowing he played for Manchester United and England. He’s reiterated that education is really important; if you want to play football you still need your education. You can’t just play football and that’s it, you need education for almost everything.”

“They’ve been really enjoyable days, and you can see that the schools and the children are getting a lot out of the partnerships too,” concluded Bryan. “It’s always important that as a club we give something back to the community. I hope they do take on board things that may help them in the future; they’ve got to work hard and enjoy what they want to do and they’ll have a better future if they do that.”