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MANCAT and FC Link up in New Community Initiative

FC United's links with MANCAT were put to use with a session organised for a group of young people from Newton-le-Willows and St. Helens who enjoyed a fun day of football training and life coaching with Karl Marginson on Friday 23rd November.

The session was arranged to take place at MANCAT who very kindly made the excellent football facilities, classrooms and IT suites at their Nicholls Street site available for the day.

The young people who came are pupils at Newton-le-Willows High School, St. Aelred's Catholic Technology College in Newton-le-Willows and St. Cuthbert's Catholic College for Business and Enterprise in St. Helens. They were accompanied by learning mentors from school and staff from Haydock Pupil Referral Unit who had organised the trip.

The day started off with some football training which in turn led to a match with staff and pupils taking part. The morning was rounded off with a session where pupils discussed the importance of setting targets in life and listened to Karl give an insight into the challenges faced by professional footballers and the way in which players and coaches use targets to achieve their objectives.

After lunch in the canteen, where the secondary school pupils were astonished to see that chips were available, the group went into the IT suite where they went onto MANCAT's website to do some research into the different courses available that might be of interest to them. For all the pupils, it was the first time they had been to a college or even thought about what a college might look like. Several pupils were able to identify a course that they would like to do and found out what GCSE grades they would need to achieve to make that possible.

The day was rounded off with a free kick challenge, another match and DVD highlights from FC's 8-0 victory over Glossop North End from last season. Several pupils were impressed by the quality of football they saw on the DVD and they were even more impressed when they heard that it only cost two quid to get in.

Asked what he had learned from the day, one youngster replied, “I need to track back and defend more and I need to get five GCSE's including Maths and English to get onto a BTEC course in IT!”

One of the teachers involved in setting up the day, Robin Pye, himself an FC member, said, “It's been a great day. I am very grateful for the generosity of MANCAT and the friendliness of their staff. Karl was brilliant with the youngsters. They will have got a lot out of it. I hope that pupils from other schools can benefit from these sessions with Karl. I think our club could play a big role in a lot of young people's lives through these types of sessions.”

We are looking to extend this type of activity to other groups of young people. If you work with young people who would enjoy this type of activity, or know a group that would benefit then please do not hesitate to contact Karl via the club office to see what we can arrange.

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