Manchester United’s Robin van Persie inspires future generation as kids try ‘Ultimate Premier League Experience’

By Colin Henrys

Robin van Persie was the star attraction as Scottish school children got to sample life as a Premier League footballer when Manchester United visited Sunderland this weekend. 

The Dutchman’s deflected strike proved the difference between the two clubs as United tightened their grip on the Premier League title – to the delight of over 160 young Scots in attendance.

Organised by Trans-Atlantic Soccer, the youngsters were given an insight into the inner workings at the Stadium of Light and competed in their own tournament before watching the big game. 

Speaking before the match, Karwan Wilson, 14, from West Calder High School, West Lothian, said: “I can’t wait to see Sunderland versus Manchester United later and watch Robin Van Persie.” 

United fan Liam Stephenson, 12, from Deans Community High School, Livingston, said: “It’s what I’m looking forward to most. I’ve seen them a few times now. I’m really looking forward to seeing Robin Van Persie.”

VICTORS: Gartcairn Football Academy youngsters crown champions

Trans-Atlantic Soccer’s Premier League Experiences are a football and education partnership run in conjunction with leading Premier Clubs, including both Manchester City and United alongside Sunderland.
The scheme will see over 1,250 children across 15 local authorities in Scotland take part in ‘The Ultimate Premier League Experience’ in 2013. 

Saturday’s event saw the 160 youngsters enjoy coaching sessions with the Foundation of Light – Sunderland’s community scheme – and the Black Cats’ development squads before locking horns in a five-a-side tournament. 

Gartcairn Football Academy, from Airdrie, were crowned champions before the youngsters watched the crucial lunchtime kick-off.

John Fothergill, 32, development project manager for the Foundation of Light, believes the event highlights what it takes to make it to the top in football.

“To me it’s not just about the football games – it’s about the experience they get through life as well,” he said.

“Going to the Premier League clubs as well, it’s probably an experience which will last a lifetime.

“They get to go to the dressing rooms and really engage with the atmosphere – there’s a special kind of tension which you can feel around the place, particularly on match days. 

“Hopefully it gives an insight on what it takes – not just ability, but the attitude needed. 

“It’s been like a real match-day experience for the boys as we’ve actually noticed how disciplined they are when they’re being led through the stadiums.” 

Trans-Atlantic Soccer provides school groups and youth football teams from North America, the Middle East and Scotland with a taste of ‘The Ultimate Premier League Experience’. For more information visit here.

Image courtesy of Yahoo UK video via YouTube, with thanks.

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