Manchester United Foundation has joined forces with the Wayne Rooney Foundation to provide an inclusion programme for young people of all abilities.
Following Wayne Rooney’s testimonial match in 2016, he formed his Foundation and committed to support four charities, including Manchester United Foundation.
Funding from the former Manchester United and England captain’s charity has enabled MU Foundation to launch the ‘Rooney’s Inclusive Reds’ programme – a ten-week course that is delivered across local schools, enabling disabled and non-disabled participants to play together and learn from each other on a level playing field.
Postponed due to lockdown in 2020, Manchester United Foundation is now officially launching the partnership with the Wayne Rooney Foundation, by delivering Rooney’s Inclusive Reds in a two-day event of Euros-themed activations, hosted at the Manchester United training ground in Carrington.
Participating schools from across Greater Manchester took part in various football challenges to celebrate inclusivity across the programme.
Wayne Rooney, who was a longstanding supporter of the Foundation during his time at Manchester United, said: “I am delighted that my charity has partnered with Manchester United Foundation and we are able to support an inclusion programme specifically for young people, helping to break down barriers between those with and without disabilities. It is a programme I look forward to seeing in action and am sure it will have a positive impact on all involved.”
Matt Pilkington, disability and inclusion coordinator for Manchester United Foundation, said: “The programme has been brilliant for young people across Greater Manchester; it has given participants the opportunity to play at a level which is best suited to them and allowed them to feel comfortable within that environment.
The impact of the programme has already been amazing with participants wanting to continue playing football outside of the school setting.”
In addition to the ten-week programme, Rooney’s Inclusive Reds has given participants the opportunity to complete the FA Playmaker qualification with over 30 young people achieving the certificate.
A health and wellbeing programme was also delivered to partnering secondary schools during the last academic year, promoting healthy food choices and the importance of physical activity.
For more information about Manchester United Foundation and its disability and inclusion provision please visit: www.mufoundation.org/inclusivereds