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Soccer Spirit Must be As Strong As Studies

Yesterday at Epson United Spirit Soccer Clinic II (EUSSC II), 20 Singapore youths from Straits Time School Pocket Money Fund beneficiary: Beyond Social Services experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a short experience of what life

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Yesterday at Epson United Spirit Soccer Clinic II (EUSSC II), 20 Singapore youths from Straits Time School Pocket Money Fund beneficiary: Beyond Social Services experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a short experience of what life would be like as Manchester United Under-19 Squad members.

Leveraging on Epson’s sponsorship of Manchester United Soccer Club, the EUSSCs are an ongoing series of soccer-related events where Epson collaborates with Manchester United for the benefit of underprivileged youth in SIngapore and around the region. This latest EUSSC II is held in conjunction with the inaugural NexLions Cup tournament where the club’s Under-19 team and its coaches are in Singapore to compete against the youth teams from Liverpool, Sporting Lisbon and the Singapore Youth Selection Squad, led by ex-National skipper, Aide Iskandar. The NexLions Cup tournament is a joint initiative between the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and Kirkwall Sports, which is also the exclusive partner of Manchester United Soccer Schools in Southeast Asia.

At the EUSSC II, 20 of the most avid soccer enthusiasts from Beyond Social Services got to interact with Manchester United’s youth squad, watch them train for the NexLions Cup tournament, and even received a professional skills coaching session from the team’s coaches. The session taught the boys a range of movements and techniques that are characteristic of Manchester United players. The session was designed to allow repetition of these fundamental actions in a fun and exciting way and to challenge the motivate players at all times.

As part of Manchester United’s holistic education philosophy, the Beyond youth were also given a talk by the club’s youth development and education officer who encouraged and advised them on pursuing a professional career in soccer while highlighting the importance and necessity of achieving an equally strong academic balance.

“Holistic youth development in both sports and education in the communities where we operate has always been a common emphasis for both Manchester United and Epson”, says Koichi Endo, Managing Director of Epson Southeast Asia. “This is why we are glad to have Manchester United professionals to advise many of the Beyond youth who wish to pursue a career in soccer about the realities involved in pursuing the sport professionally.”

“Manchester United’s first team and youth teams inspire young people around the world to achieve what our successful players have done,” says Dave Bushell, youth development and education officer for Manchester United. “So we feel a strong obligation to the youth we meet to tell them how seriously we treat holistic development of our own youth team. We have a strong insistence on them being good not just in soccer, but academically and in character too. We want the youth in our squad to not only be great sportsmen who demonstrate the respect, teamwork and discipline that our soccer teaches, but also become, well-rounded, responsible individuals who are great ambassadors for our club, and who will be able to find meaningful growth paths later in their careers and lives – even if outside of the world of soccer.”

About Straits Times School Money Fund (STSPMF) and Beyond Social Services: The STSPMF is an independent charity that helps low income families by providing pocket money for their school children. This eases the burden on their parents who are already struggling to feed their families on meager incomes. Learn more about STSPMF here.

Beyond Social Services is one of the beneficiaries that the STSPMF supports and is a Singapore charity which aims to curb delinquency among the disadvantaged young people and their families. It does so by providing them access to social, educational and community support programmes including advocacy, counseling, community support and education, Operating from five facilities around Singapore, Beyond hopes to achieve a vision that by 2025, every child and youth in Singapore, despite a disadvantaged background, will have the opportunity to refuse a lifestyle of delinquency and welfare dependency. Learn know more about Beyond Social Services here.

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