The community organisations have been uniting to take part in various training sessions, tournaments and even working together on an event for the 15th anniversary of Premier League Kicks.
Manchester United Foundation and City in the Community (CITC) each run PL Kicks sessions for young people across Greater Manchester, with the Foundation’s offering known as Street Reds.
One of the Street Reds projects is held at Manchester United Foundation’s partner school, The East Manchester Academy (TEMA), which is located only a stone’s throw from the Etihad Stadium, where CITC host their Kicks sessions along with other projects.
With both clubs working in such close proximity, and with the common goal of providing free and inclusive football opportunities for young people, the teams decided to break down barriers and open up the sessions to enable wider access to sports provision in the local area.
Anthony Savery, community projects coordinator for Manchester United Foundation, said: “Despite being from rival clubs, the kids are all from the same area, so it is important for us to work together for their benefit, especially over Christmas. We mixed the players from both United and City in teams and the games were played in great spirit. The participants gave great feedback and when asked if they wanted to do something like this again the answer was a resounding ‘yes’.”
Khalid, 15, who attends Street Reds, said: “It means a lot to me to come to Street Reds as you just come, play and enjoy yourself. I’ve enjoyed getting to know new people and despite United and City being big rivals there has been no stress and we’ve just been able to come together and have fun.”
Leejay, 12, a participant from City in the Community, added: “It shows it’s not all about rivalry or competition; we’re all together as a community. We involved every player, and we get to play with new players and people we haven’t met before.”
Manchester United Foundation deliver Street Reds projects at 13 locations across Greater Manchester, and City in the Community deliver PL Kicks sessions at 14 sites. Each club offers free football sessions and alternative activities for young people aged 8-18, with the opportunity to learn new skills and gain qualifications in a supportive and positive environment.
The City United activation also aligns with Manchester United Foundation’s Santa’s Red Helpers campaign, which offers opportunities for young people, as well as supporting local communities and families over the winter period.
This year’s campaign is once again supporting FareShare Greater Manchester, and the Club and Foundation have pledged £100,000 to provide 400,000 meals for those in need this Christmas.
Donate to our Santa's Red Helpers appeal to support families in need this Christmas.