Students from Manchester United Foundation’s BTEC programme had the opportunity to develop their teamwork and problem-solving skills alongside Manchester United’s first-team players recently, as part of an unforgettable workshop.
Diogo Dalot, Martin Dubravka, Alejandro Garnacho, Zidane Iqbal, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw and Donny van de Beek were all in attendance for a fun afternoon with the students.
Challenges included team-building activities such as cup stacking, spaghetti tower building, and a tabletop ball game, which tested the hand-eye co-ordination of players and students alike.
As well as participating in those games, the players signed autographs, posed for selfies and answered students’ questions on all things United.
It was a particularly inspiring event for BTEC Sport student Ellie, a lifelong United fan.
“It’s been such a good experience to meet the first-team players,” she enthused. “Getting to meet them in person is the best feeling in the world, it makes me feel so happy.
“I feel really grateful because I’ve never had any experiences like this before. I didn’t really know what was happening today, so when we met all the players I felt really happy because I really look up to them, whether that be the men or the women.”
Fellow BTEC Sport student Nathan said: “It’s been great seeing some of the best footballers in the world in person and getting to talk to them face-to-face.
“I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to come here and get involved because of my work rate at college, getting my studies done and being on time.”
The event proved just as enjoyable for the United players in attendance.
Reds defender Victor Lindelof said: “It’s always nice to meet the young people. It was very nice to see the way they think and how they can solve a situation.
“I know exactly what is needed to work together and to have a good spirit and good teamwork; I’ve just tried to help them to think. It’s also very important to let everyone have their opinion because you can see things in a different way and it’s always important to listen to each other.
“We know all the hard work that the Foundation is doing, but to come here to witness it and see it for myself, it was nice.”
Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was similarly enthusiastic following one of his first Foundation events.
“It was nice to meet them, spend some time with them and play some games. It’s great for everyone to be involved in these kinds of small games. That would be my dream when I was their age, so it’s good to be part of this process.”
The Foundation’s BTEC Sport programme runs in partnership with Eccles Sixth Form College, providing students with unique opportunities in sport, including enrichment and work opportunities to represent Manchester United Foundation.
For more information about the BTEC Sport programme, please click here.