28 January 2016Manchester United team up with Beth in bid to improve academy
- Manchester United have teamed up with gymnast Beth Tweddle in an interesting bid to improve the club's academy structure.
The Red Devils have been criticised over the last couple of weeks for falling behind neighbours Manchester City when it comes to attracting youngsters to the club and developing them.
And one of the first steps United have taken to arrest the slump is to appoint Tweddle, who recently set up her own Manchester-based gymnastics company, Total Gymnastics, to increase sports participation within the city.
United decided to team up with Tweddle after they recognised their young players were, according to the club's official website, "losing their basic movement skills associated with early years' outdoor play".
“We know there is a real opportunity to improve children’s basic movement skills and that’s why we are working so hard with our after-school Total Gymnastics classes and our in-demand primary schools curriculum," Cheshire-raised Tweddle said.
"We are delighted to be working with the young players at the world’s leading academy. This is a fantastic experience for me and my staff and exciting to think that we may be helping to develop the next world-class player to be produced through the United Academy."
United's head of performance, Tony Strudwick, added: "As a world-class club, we have to be associated with world-class providers and working with Beth and Total Gymnastics certainly ticks that box.
"I'm sure the inclusion of a gymnastic element into out younger development programme will result in players that move more efficiently, are better all-round athletes and become more robust.
"It's our duty to continually update our development programme to give our young players the best chance of becoming professional footballers."