Manchester United Foundation has won the Green Football Cup thanks to the efforts of its young people in participating in environmentally conscious activities such as energy saving and travelling on foot or by cycle.
Foundation participants scored over 17,500 ‘green goals’ – which are awarded for every planet-saving activity completed – which was 7,000 more than the next highest placing club, resulting in the Reds’ topping the table and seeing off competition from 80 other clubs.
Participants have been encouraged to get involved in the Green Football Cup activities to help the Reds to glory while learning about protecting the environment, and among the most successful in doing so were partner high school pupils from Bolton St Catherine’s Academy.
The Foundation’s 17,545 green goals saved an impressive 10,169kg CO2e over the 20-day competition, which is the equivalent of planting 168 trees. The Green Football Cup competition ran alongside the Green Football Weekend campaign, which highlighted how football fans can play their part in tackling climate change.
Bolton St Catherine’s pupils Fatoumatta and Melina helped their school to score 3,363 green goals, and in recognition of their amazing contribution to the Foundation’s triumph, they were invited to receive the Planet League trophy at Old Trafford from former Manchester United striker, Fraizer Campbell.
Fraizer, who came through the Manchester United Academy and played for the club’s first team, officially handed over the Green Football Cup to Fatoumatta and Melina, receiving the trophy on behalf of Manchester United Foundation.
Fraizer said: “Being more eco-friendly is a benefit to the planet and it’s educational. Knowing things like what happens to your recycling and the effects of mass meat production is good for children to learn and hopefully implement in their lives.
“What better way to do something positive and educational than in the way of a game like Planet League. It’s competitive, helping your team to win a trophy, and it’s about a sense of community and working together for a common goal to help your community do well.”
Niccola Massey, Foundation Employability and Skills Coordinator, added: “We’re delighted to have won Planet League’s Green Football Cup and are so pleased with the fantastic effort made by all of our participants to have scored so many green goals for the Foundation.
“Bolton St Catherine’s have been one of our most supportive schools in scoring green goals, so it’s fantastic that this highly rewarding educational experience has also led to them receiving the winning trophy on behalf of the Foundation at Old Trafford.”
Bolton St Catherine’s pupils Fatoumatta and Melina were delighted that their efforts led to the experience of receiving the trophy at Old Trafford, where they also had the opportunity to look around the Reds’ famous home, including inside the home dressing room.
Fatoumatta said: “It feels amazing to be here, it’s a rare opportunity to have, and we got this by doing Planet League and completing planet-friendly activities. It definitely helps the environment, there are a lot of issues going on in the world right now, and Planet League can make things a lot better.”
Melina said: “I think this is the best opportunity I’ve ever had in my life, it’s actually incredible. Doing little things comes with a big reward, the activities can help the environment and make the world a better place. I’m amazed that we’ve been able to come to Old Trafford.”
Rich Holmes, Planet League’s Head of Partnerships, added: “A huge congratulations to all the supporters, schools and the whole Manchester United community, driven by the incredible work of Manchester United Foundation for coming together, taking collective action and doing their part for our planet while scoring plenty of green goals for the football club. To score 17,545 goals during the campaign is an incredible achievement.”