United in the Community annual outing took 28 lucky young participants to St. Georges Park in Burton-On-Trent. The £105m facility, set in 330-acres of Staffordshire countryside, is the home to England’s 24 national teams. The children are all regular members of United in the Community (UITC) and were treated to a tour and their very own session with FA Qualified coaches.
On arrival, the children were taken to their own dressing rooms before making their way into the impressive indoor 3G, a replica of Wembley’s pitch. The group were split into three for the sessions, which included lots of opportunities to show off skills and tricks, as well as being able to develop in other areas. the Qatar National Team made their way into the 3G during the session as they were due to start training in preparation for their match at the venue against Leeds United U23’s later that day.
UITC is a registered charity and provides Soccer Schools during school holidays throughout Herefordshire. Within term time they work with schools with quality provision in PE and After School Clubs. The Soccer Schools and Education Programme enable staff, coaches and scouts to recognise and identify local talent in order to enable youngsters to progress through to the Development Centre and possibly Academy teams. Luke Shuttleworth, coach at UITC said “UITC works hard to provide access to football for all children from 4 – 14 year of age and received funding from Cargill towards these schemes.” We are committed to providing opportunities for all and promoting healthy lifestyles in schools across Herefordshire and today is an important experience for our participants. They see at first hand the commitment, coaching, support and training at a semi-professional and professional level. They also see all the associated staff careers, and this inspires them to be the best they can be.”
St Georges Park has 13 outdoor pitches, including a replica of the Wembley surface, a full-size indoor 3G pitch, a suite of rehabilitation and sports science areas, and an indoor futsal sports hall, St. George’s Park provides world-class facilities for all England teams ahead of international fixtures. Pictured above: Group outside the National Football Centre
The group’s tour came to an end with a picture outside the venue, this is certainly a day the children won’t forget for a very long time. UITC would like to thank all staff at St. George’s Park for the experience, as well as P.W. Jones travel for providing transport on the day. A final mention goes to Cargill and their photographer, Emma Drabble.