Introducing the Virgin Media Football Academy

Southampton FC players stand next to a Virgin Media sign at the Staplewood training ground
Virgin Media
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
26 April 2021

Virgin Media and Southampton FC have joined forces to encourage more kids to get involved in sport.

With a recent poll revealing that 57% of young people think they’ve done less exercise than normal during the COVID-19 pandemic, Virgin Media knew it was time to do something. So it has teamed up with Southampton FC to launch the Virgin Media Football Academy.

On Wednesday 28 April, the Virgin Media Football Academy will live stream a special football-themed lesson from the Saints’ famous Staplewood training ground to classrooms across the UK.

Led by Saints manager Ralf Hasenhütl, players from the first team, and club coaches, these live drills are designed to encourage pupils to get back into football following a year of limited exercise. It’s basically a PE lesson led by your favourite players. 

James Ward-Prowse, Southampton FC captain said: “As a graduate of the Saints academy, I know from first-hand experience the benefits of the team at Staplewood, and it’s brilliant that we’re able to open up the experience of the coaches here to help schools across the country and encourage kids to be active.

“The Virgin Media Football Academy live lesson will be great fun too ­– we’re looking forward to seeing as many young Saints and football fans on the live stream as possible!”

Virgin Media has also provided teachers with access to football-focused lesson plans and video tutorials, helping to reduce their workloads as pupils returned to school in March.

Lesson plans included four key areas of football: dribbling, passing and receiving, nutrition and mental health. These lesson plans were hosted by Southampton FC Women’s coach Marieanne Spacey-Cale, plus players from the team and professional coaches and sports scientists who work at the club’s academy.

Visit Virgin Media to find out more, and head over to YouTube on Wednesday 28 April at 2pm (BST) to join in the live lesson.