Verge Loves: Virgin Media Football Academy

Earlier this year, Virgin Media created the Virgin Media Football Academy which provided all schools across the UK with free-to-access, downloadable football lesson plans and video tutorials. So far, over 400 schools and teachers have already made use of the additional materials to help keep pupils active.

The lesson plan was followed by a virtual live lesson, led by Ralph Hasenhüttl and the professional Southampton academy coaching team who took hundreds of schools through football drills live from Staplewood.  Players and coaches interacted directly with pupils from schools all over the country, with the best moments all captured in the video above.

The lesson itself was split into three separate sections – a warm-up, passing and receiving, and a finishing drill. The demonstrations and explanations of each drill were also explained by skipper James Ward-Prowse, first-team stars Theo Walcott and Che Adams, and women’s team captain and PE teacher at The Romsey School, Shelly Provan.

Virgin Media continues to support schools and pupils, the live lesson video and all learning materials will remain live indefinitely and they also opened up St Mary’s stadium to three schools for a one-of-a-kind lesson on the famous Premier League pitch, hosted by Southampton FC Academy coaches.


Ralph Hasenhüttl, manager of Southampton FC, said: “It’s been really challenging for children to stay active throughout lockdown, so being able to find a way to help get kids active virtually is something we’re proud to be a part of. As soon as I heard what Virgin Media wanted to do I jumped straight at the chance to help.  It’s been great seeing the Virgin Media Football Academy come to life”


James Ward-Prowse, Southampton FC captain, said: “It’s always great to give something back to the community, particularly kids who have been impacted so much by the pandemic. It’s really important when you’re young to just enjoy yourself as much as you can when playing football – that’s what it’s all about. Hopefully we’ll see some of the kids who took part in the Virgin Media Football Academy coming through the ranks at Staplewood soon!”



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