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Saturday 25 May 2013

Robin van Persie gives United kids lift before international tournament

Manchester United striker gives pep talk ahead of tournament in Rotterdam

  • Robin van Persie told the boys from local school to enjoy themselves at the tournament

  • The boys came from Manchester United Foundation's partner primary schools

  • Javier Hernandez and David De Gea have been helping local schoolkids with their Spanish

Ten young players from Manchester United Foundation's partner primary schools are taking part in an international tournament this weekend and to help them prepare for the competition they got invited to the club’s Carrington training ground and got some advice from Robin van Persie.

The boys are heading to Rotterdam to represent Manchester United in the International Robin van Persie Tournament where they will face teams from South Africa, Germany, Holland, Belgium and the UK. “I want you to go and have a fantastic time and enjoy this wonderful experience," the United striker, who won the Barclays Golden Boot this season for his 26 goals, told the boys.

"I'm really excited about the tournament,” said Eoin Ritchie, from St Theresa's Primary School in Trafford. “Today has been really fun. I support United but never thought I'd get the chance to meet Robin van Persie."

The players, aged 10-11, have been chosen to take part in the tournament after showcasing their footballing talents at Foundation training sessions and playing for their school teams. St Theresa is one of many schools that are partnered with the Manchester United Foundation through its “Hub of the Community” programme. This places full-time football coaches in schools across Greater Manchester to work with pupils from secondary schools and its feeder primary schools to build lasting relationships in the local community.

"To learn languages will prepare you for life"
Javier Hernandez

Beyond football, the Foundation has also been promoting academic learning in schools recently with players encouraging students to learn foreign languages. David de Gea and Javier Hernandez recently dropped in to Broadoak School to promote the learning of Spanish to pupils. Patrice Evra also did a similar session promoting French to students at Manchester Health Academy.

“It is much easier to learn a language whilst you are at school," Hernandez told the students. "I would encourage children to learn Spanish; I don't think it is spoken as much as English in the world, but to learn languages will prepare you for life.”

Aden Bashir of Wyhtenshawe Health Academy explained the impact Evra’s visit had: “Before I chose French I thought, ‘Why would I need to learn French when I live in England and I already know English’, but Patrice has helped me to understand that to be able to express yourself, instead of relying on a translator, is important.”

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Key Points

  • Ten boys from local schools visited Man Utd's training ground
  • They got a pep talk from Robin van Persie before they head out to a tournament in Rotterdam
  • Boys came from Manchester United Foundation's partner primary schools