Tuanzebe returns to school for Manchester United Foundation
Axel Tuanzebe returned to his old high school in Rochdale this week to officially launch Manchester United Foundation’s latest partnership.
The Reds defender was delighted to go back to St. Cuthbert’s RC High School, now the Foundation's 23rd partner high school, to catch up with his teachers and inspire the students to achieve their dreams.
The key objectives of the partnership are to improve attendance, punctuality, behaviour and academic progress, with a focus on values such as attitude, respect and resilience. There is also a focus on business enterprise and employability skills and a mentor support programme for underachieving pupils.
During the visit, the centre-back dropped into some lessons to see at first hand the work of the Foundation within his old school, including a maths lesson focused on statistics from his career, a geography lesson based on places he has travelled to, and a PE lesson with young pupils from his former primary school, St. John’s.
“I think it’s good that the Foundation is coming into schools; it’s so motivational for the children here,” said Axel.
“For me it’s amazing to see the buildings again and remember my days in school; seeing the kids that are here now and the teachers brings all the old memories back into play.
“It’s something touching and close to me, but in the long run it’s good to see the community doing well.”
The event concluded with an assembly for 200 students who had been specially selected due to good behaviour and achievements in school. Tuanzebe gave an inspiring speech and took part in a Q&A session, sharing stories from his school days, his journey with Manchester United and giving the children advice.
“When I was younger it would have been massive to see someone come into my school who is on the pathway I want to be on,” the 21-year-old added.
“I think the things I said to the children today could be inspirational for them, to understand the responsibilities they need to take on to become a better person and to have a good career.”
Back to school gallery
Check out the best images as Axel returns to his high school in Rochdale.
“It just shows that you can start at nothing, go to a local school, play for the school team and still achieve a big career – you can do anything you want if you just work hard,” said 13-year-old Sam, one of 10 students selected to present the official launch plaque with Axel.
The school's Head of PE, Jo Holt, taught Axel as a student and was delighted to see him again at the event.
“Today has been a really special day; not only is it the launch of our partnership with Manchester United Foundation but Axel coming back gave us the chance to tell him how proud we are of him,” she said.
“I’m really hopeful that the students involved in today will take away the message that whatever their aspirations may be, they can achieve anything that they want.”
To find out more about Manchester United Foundation, visit mufoundation.org.