Referees at the Foundation.

Young referees United against racism

Friday 22 October 2021 11:45

Manchester United Foundation continues to amplify the important message of anti-racism across its education programmes, through a collaboration with Kick It Out as part of the Take a Stand campaign.

Over the last few months, a series of anti-racism workshops and training sessions have been delivered at Foundation partner schools and for club and Foundation staff members. Most recently, a referee workshop was delivered by the Manchester FA at Levenshulme High School for Girls.

Funding for the courses was raised by Manchester United fans, through sales of Black Lives Matter-branded home shirts last season. An incredible £14,277 was raised, which was donated to Kick It Out before being allocated back to the Foundation’s inclusion programmes.

Foundation supports Kick It Out Video

Foundation supports Kick It Out

Find out how the club's Foundation raised over £14,000 for a very worthy cause...

Levenshulme High School was chosen for the referee workshop as one of Greater Manchester’s most diverse communities, allowing the Foundation to support young people to achieve equality outcomes. Through a series of practical and theory-based sessions, the year 11 students were taught the skills needed to officiate a match, whilst also picking up valuable life and people skills along the way.

Jolene Murray, school partnership officer for the Foundation, said: “The girls have absolutely loved it. Those that have completed the course don’t normally participate in grassroots sport, so it’s been a great opportunity for them to try something new and gain the ability to help officiate matches both at school and through the Foundation. There will also be the opportunity for paid work in the local leagues, so I can’t stress how beneficial this has been for them.”

This excitement was echoed by Levenshulme student Samaha, 16, who thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to develop her skills. “I’ve always played football from being at primary school, so it’s been really interesting to learn about the practical and theory side of refereeing. I’m aiming to go into medicine, but sport is a big part of who I am, so it’s great to be able to learn these skills to give me other options.”

The girls now look forward to future of brighter opportunities, thanks to Manchester United fans, the club, Kick It Out and the Foundation.

In the ongoing fight for equality, Manchester United launched SEE RED, a campaign which aims to confront the scourge of racism and discrimination in the game. Find out more here.