Academy Director and former United striker, Brian McClair was proud to hand a cheque worth £25,750 to UNICEF this week. The money was raised as a result of the Football Aid events held at Old Trafford last year and Manchester United nominated UNICEF to receive the funds.
Founded in 2000, Football Aid was developed as a unique and innovative way of raising money to find a cure for diabetes. Over 250 games - involving an incredible 7000 players - have taken place throughout the UK since Football Aid’s conception, giving fans the chance to experience the thrills and spills, highs and lows, controversy and high drama of match day at the Club they support. Whilst experiencing the chance of a lifetime, the fans contribute to a number of charitable causes through Football Aid’s parent charity, Field of Dreams’ multi beneficiary grant award scheme. In this, funds raised are distributed to diabetes research, education and management projects and also to the participating Clubs nominated charities, in this case, UNICEF.
Manchester United has been working with UNICEF since 1999 through the United for UNICEF partnership. During this time the club has raised in excess of £1.75 million for UNICEF programmes around the world. The partnership has benefited over 1.5 million children in countries across the globe including China, India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, South Africa, Mozambique, Afghanistan and Iraq. This year’s Football Aid grant will go towards a campaign advocating the rights of young women and girls in South Africa and brings the total awarded to UNICEF since Football Aid’s conception to over a phenomenal £113,000.
Beth Nicholls, Manager of the United for UNICEF partnership explains, “I am delighted to accept this generous grant from Field of Dreams, Football Aid’s parent charity. We are excited to have this opportunity to carry out such a project together with Manchester United in South Africa as part of our global campaign on children and Aids, ‘Unite for Children, Unite against Aids’ ”
Brian McClair, who recently returned from a trip to Thailand to see UNICEF's work for children, visiting a child protection centre near Bangkok and HIV/AIDS projects in the south of the country, continues, “Manchester United have committed to supporting ‘Unite for Children, Unite against Aids’ which was launched in October 2005. As part of this campaign, UNICEF will be using Manchester United’s sporting expertise to create an HIV/AIDS Education and Citizenship through sport coaching and information pack to be used on the ground in South Africa. From past experience of implementing similar programmes, UNICEF understands how sport can break down barriers, change attitudes and especially empower young women and girls and I am delighted to be playing a part in this worthwhile cause. Many thanks to Football Aid for their continued support.”
For further information on Football Aid, UNICEF or the United for UNICEF partnership please visit: www.footballaid.com, www.unicef.org.uk or www.manutd.com/unitedforunicef