From education to employment

Eccles sport student is star of the latest #UnitedAndMe campaign

Paula Conde, studying BTEC Sport at Eccles Sixth Form College, in partnership with the Manchester United Foundation, has become the latest focus of the Foundation’s #UnitedandMe campaign.

The 17-year old, who dreams of becoming an international goalkeeper, has starred in a short film with Manchester United’s own keeper, Sergio Romero.

The campaign tells the story of Paula as she chases her dreams of playing professionally, with a little help from the Manchester United Foundation and Eccles Sixth Form College.

In the short motion picture, showcased on the Foundations social media and website, Paula is receiving one-on-one training from the Manchester United legend, Romero – something many only dream of.

Originally from Colombia, South America, Paula only moved to Manchester three years ago, after living in Spain for most of her life. It was in Spain she first started playing football as a striker, but it was by no means her strongest position.

She said in the campaign: “I only started playing football when I moved to Spain and I started playing as a striker to start off, but I was really bad. The first time I went in net I did really well so they kept me and I really liked being a goalkeeper from that day on.”

And she hasn’t looked back. She has continued to pursue her dreams in net by enrolling on the BTEC Sport course at Eccles College, who have a very special partnership with the Manchester United Foundation.

She went on to say: “I’ve always liked sports and really liked the idea of combining that with playing on a football programme linked with Manchester United Foundation.

“I love the way the teachers teach us, and how they make the subjects and classroom interactive and interesting.  It’s really helped me as on the pitch I feel like I am a better goalkeeper than when I started the course and off the pitch I am more confident speaking to the girls on the team and to other people outside college.”

Steve Settle, Head of Sport and Public Services at Eccles Sixth Form College is extremely proud of the talented youngster: “On the pitch Paula has been a role model for other students with a passion and commitment for football playing and coaching. This academic year Paula is continuing to work towards her BTEC Sport qualification and we are all looking forward to seeing her make more great progress on and off the pitch in 2018.” 

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