Preston received a Royal visit during Monday to see how the city is using sport as a force for good.Advertisement
Prince Harry was at the University of Central Lancashire’s Sports Arena.
He met refugees who have been signed up to a city football team and also learned how the city’s wheelchair sports club is thriving.
His Royal Highness met with the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Development Centre.
Harry learned how Peter Mason, chairman of the group, set up the centre in 1999 with his wife Kath, helps play and train local leagues with a view to building new and unique friendships.
Mr Mason said: “The project has gone from strength to strength. We now have a large and vibrant adult disability group, a new but very well attended refugee and asylum seeker group, a four to 16-year-old disability group and a thriving soccer centre for able-bodied four to 16-year olds.
“In addition, since 2014 we now have The Sir Tom Finney FC with 27 competitive teams, including two open age ladies teams, an under 18 ladies team and two open age male teams. The UCLan students are heavily involved in coaching all aspects of football and assist us greatly in providing footballing opportunities to a very wide community.”
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Prince Harry also learned about the work of the Hub Club – which develops football coaches. It has seen 23 new male and female referees gain their qualifications in the last six months in a partnership between UCLan and its Students’ Union.
UCLan football development officer Cian McEvoy said: From working closely with the Hub Club project manager Sarah Berry, Pete and Kath from PSC and all the volunteers, it is fantastic to see the development that has taken place since my appointment in September 2016. I am proud to be part of such an inclusive and forward thinking project that provides opportunities in football for all. Since the partnership began, it is evident the positive impact this has had, both on our students and in the community, and I am confident this will continue to change people’s lives for the better.”
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UCLan Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board David Taylor met the Prince on his visit.
He said: “The University of Central Lancashire is a civic anchor in the local community and UCLan Sports Arena plays a huge role in this. Not only do our staff and students benefit from our fantastic sports facilities, but many different local sports clubs also use it on a regular basis and it’s great to be able to share these success stories with Prince Harry.”
Did you get to meet Prince Harry today? Let us know in the comments below