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Participants enjoy first matchday experience thanks to adidas

Throughout the season, deserving young people from Manchester United Foundation partner schools and projects have been treated to tickets to watch United play at the Theatre Of Dreams.

| by Nathan Thomas

Club sponsor adidas helped to facilitate the initiative through the adidas Football Collective, which aims to break down barriers, create opportunities and enable anyone to experience the beautiful game.


The tickets were given to participants as part of the reward theme of ‘first match experience’ and the young people were selected by their coaches following outstanding achievements at school or at their respective Foundation projects.


From our Street Reds project, Courtney was rewarded for her hard work and dedication. She is a regular attendee at The East Manchester Academy (TEMA) venue and is a fantastic team player who encourages her peers, is always polite and plays with a smile on her face. Her coaches had no hesitation in offering her the opportunity to watch her beloved Manchester United play. Whether it’s raining, freezing cold or blowing a gale, Courtney has a near flawless attendance record and is one of the first participants to arrive each week. Since we began sessions at TEMA last year, Courtney has been quick to make new friends and become a leader of the girls-only group sessions.


“Getting to see the inside of the stadium on a match day was amazing. The atmosphere was unbelievable and something I will never forget,” Courtney said.


“I was so excited because it was my first time there and I was shocked by how big Old Trafford was! I had such an amazing time and it was even better because United won - thank you so much for the tickets.”

A little further afield, Ainara and Conor, both students benefitting from our partnership with Ulster University in Northern Ireland, were also treated to their first experience of Old Trafford. Ainara is a student at St. Cecilia’s College and has put herself forward for nearly every project on offer, with her family noticing a huge improvement in her confidence and communication as a result. She was also the winner of the Ulster University / Foundation school competition, where she created an idea for a product to be sold in the club megastore and received a special message from United left-back Luke Shaw to congratulate her on the win.

“I had never been to a football match before, so it was fantastic to see all the players in person,” Ainara told us. “I love being a part of the Foundation and joining in with all the projects.”

Conor is cinematic student at Ulster University; he has completed over 50 hours of volunteering and is now self-employed as a freelance photographer. As part of his selection as the Foundation’s work experience student, Conor captured footage of the work being done at Ulster before creating a ten-minute video showcasing the Foundation’s delivery in Northern Ireland.


There were also rewards for two other participants, both called Jacob, who attend our partner primary school Holden Clough and Ability Counts session respectively. The pair have both demonstrated hard work and enthusiasm, making them the perfect choice to receive some tickets.


Philippa Harrison, community engagement manager for Manchester United Foundation, said: “Throughout a very difficult period we’ve seen many examples of our young people going above and beyond, working extremely hard and improving themselves academically, in sport and as people.

“It’s important that we reward these efforts, and we really appreciate the support of the adidas Football Collective, whose generous donation of match tickets enabled us to gift an experience that these children may not otherwise have received.”