Earlier this month, seven Reading FC Academy players were invited to spend the day at Manor Green Special Needs School alongside other students visiting from The Forest School.
Ben Purcell, Louie Holzman, Tyrell Ashcroft, Pierce Bateson, Kai Allsopp, Malachi Talent and Claudio Osario all paid a visit to the local school and spent much of the day delivering football sessions throughout the day to around 30 special needs students.
The boys interacted so well with the Manor Green pupils, encouraging and praising them during the football sessions, coaching them how to dribble and perform a range of skills.
The interaction was great to see as students formed new friendships with some of our budding young players. And we think we might have converted a few of the Manor Green pupils to become Reading fans!
Our Academy boys were fantastic ambassadors for the football club, embodying our commitment to community and friendship within that community.
And the lads stepped even further out of their comfort zones at the end of the day at school, when they were taught by some of the Manor Green students how to perform a dance using only Makaton, a form of sign language designed to provide a means of communication to individuals who cannot communicate efficiently by speaking.
Naturally, this was something of a challenge for the players but it was great to see them trying to learn new things in a very new environment.