TOAN Students take part in the Unified World Cup
Students from The Oldham Academy North were amongst those from the Manchester United Foundation partner schools and local special educational needs (SEN) schools, who were invited to the club’s Aon Training Complex to take part in a World Cup themed tournament, at which they represented different international teams.
The tournament celebrated Unified Football, a Special Olympics GB campaign delivered in partnership with Youth Sport Trust, which joins people with and without learning disabilities on the same team.
Manchester United ambassador Andrew Cole attended to give some advice to the participants, take part in some activities including football darts and foot-pool, and present the medals and trophy to the winning team.
“It’s great to see disabled and non-disabled kids taking part together in their own World Cup” said Cole. “I’ve just been talking to a couple of boys who were so excited about helping disabled children play football and for me that’s a massive thing; if the younger generation are thinking like that then hopefully we’ll be in good hands.”
Manchester United Foundation delivers Unified Football through its Inclusive Reds programme, which is funded by the Premier League and BT Sport and offers equal sport and physical activity opportunities for young people with disabilities.
“The video shows the real power of the programme and the impact it has had not only on our students here but on many around Greater Manchester. Our students along with our partner school Redwood have been fantastic and loved every minute of this experience. They were all given the new Belgium shirt to wear which they got to keep along with a goody bag and medal. This will be a day our students will remember for the rest of their lives, and the programme as a whole has had such an impact on many of them and helped improve their confidence, team work and resilience. To be part of that and watch them all develop and grow has definitely been one of the most rewarding programmes I’ve delivered” Tony Ensor, Hub Development Officer at The Oldham Academy North.