Giggs goes back to school

Students at Astley Sports College settled down for a literacy assembly last week in total disbelief when they discovered their guest speaker was modern-day football legend, Ryan Giggs.

After officially launching a three-year partnership between Astley and the Manchester United Foundation, Giggs stepped into the Tameside school’s assembly hall to discuss with head-girl, Amy Chadwick the joy of reading and his favourite book – Nelson Mandela’s Long walk to Freedom.

On interviewing the United idol, Amy said: “I was extremely nervous but this was a fantastic opportunity for me.” She adds, “I always thought of Ryan Giggs as a highly regarded player who came across as a very nice person and who really respects the fans and everything I’ve seen today has backed it up.”

Next, the most decorated footballer in the British game was put through his paces in a literacy quiz, much to the delight of the on looking students. Head-boy, Callum Clegg joined Giggsy’s team and escorted his hero throughout the entire school visit.  For Callum this was not only a dream-come-true moment, but the culmination of all his hard work in addressing his poor attendance and behaviour and earning the privilege of becoming Astley’s Head Boy.

For students to see, hear and be in the same room as a true legend made them believe that dreams can become reality.

Callum’s work with Foundation coach Dave Chapman has been a life changing opportunity and chaperoning his all-time hero proved just reward: “The Manchester United Foundation coming in to school has been one of the best things to happen to me. Before I started working with Dave I wasn’t really that bothered about anything, but he inspired and motivated me, asked me to improve my punctuality and attitude and made me believe I could become Head Boy, which is a role that makes me feel really good and proud of myself and has given me the confidence to do the best I can”.

Tracey Marshall, Director of Learning for PE and Sport at Astley said,“The school believes in raising the aspirations of young people to enable them to achieve excellence and we use sports as the vehicle to drive that change.  Yesterday was magical for Astley students and staff, for them to see, hear and be in the same room as a true legend made them believe that dreams can become reality and the atmosphere that Ryan Giggs has left within the community of Astley will last a long time.  Manchester United Foundation are making us pinch ourselves at the moment.”

Astley Sports College is partnered with the Foundation as part of our Hub of the Community scheme.  Find out more here.