United Foundation students enjoy youth camp in Basel

Tuesday 22 August 2023 07:00

Young people from two of Manchester United Foundation's SEND partner schools spent a memorable week in Basel, Switzerland recently.

Eight students from Brentwood High School and Community College and Chatsworth High School and Community College took part in a six-day excursion with Foundation coaches, where they were able to make new friends, improve their football skills and enjoy a variety of leisure and cultural activities in a completely new environment.

The trip was supported and organised by the Scort Foundation in collaboration with Football Club Social Alliance (FCSA), which celebrated its 15th year of the camp. Over 50 young people from various clubs and organisations took part, such as FC Basel 1893, Swiss Deaf Sport, SV Werder Bremen and two Ukrainian groups.

The young people had the opportunity to explore the city of Basel.

Together the students were able to pursue their common passion of football, while testing their limits in the climbing forest and exploring the city of Basel.

Towards the end of the trip, the students even had the exciting opportunity of meeting FC Basel’s goalkeeper Marwin Hitz on their stadium tour.

Martin Hanbury, CEO of Chatsworth Multi Academy Trust, witnessed first-hand the impact a trip like this would have on the students involved.

“I have been involved in education for almost forty years and believe this to be one of the most inspiring, educational and enjoyable experiences of my whole career,” he said.

The trip was supported and organised by the Scort Foundation in collaboration with Football Club Social Alliance.

“The benefit to our young people is inestimable. They have grown, thrived and excelled.

“I've seen the young people develop day after day, both in their physical skills – which is important – and in their social skills, through which they have learned to interact with children from other countries, and with children who have different communication systems and different languages.

“What's been inspiring to me is watching how young people set an example to us as adults of how to make the world a better place; by working with each other and not against each other.”

Youngsters from other clubs, including FC Basel 1893, Swiss Deaf Sport and SV Werder Bremen, were also involved.

Conor Muldoon, SEND schools coordinator at Manchester United Foundation led the trip – the first of its kind.

“It has been a fantastic experience for our young people,” commented Conor.

“The Scort staff have supported the physical and mental wellbeing of our young people with a mixture of football and cultural activities that they may have never experienced before.

“Allowing students to develop independence is something that we really champion across the inclusion team. So, seeing our young people adjust to a new environment, work with different and unfamiliar staff, and try new activities is just fantastic; they should be proud of themselves.

“I hope this whole trip has been life-changing for them and on behalf of the group (staff and students) I know it’s one we’ll never forget.”