Manchester United football legends Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand swapped footballs for ping pong balls to play a very special game of table tennis with school-children for Sport Relief yesterday.
The United players got involved in a game with pupils from Harris School in Preston, who will go the extra mile for Sport Relief by completing a mammoth 500-mile challenge around their school.
Inspired by John Bishop’s epic triathlon from Paris to London, Harris Primary School will complete their ‘Harris to Paris’ challenge with every child doing two miles each. The public will be relieved to know that they don’t have to run 500 miles to do their bit for Sport Relief – they can simply walk, skip or jog the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile on Sunday 25th March.
As a thank you to the school for their support for Sport Relief, the excited children were given a surprise visit to Manchester United’s training ground in Carrington where they were thrilled to meet Rooney and Ferdinand who both confessed they enjoy a game of ping pong in their spare time.
Wayne Rooney said: “Sport Relief is an incredible initiative - it's great to see the whole nation getting behind it to help make a difference for people that really need it.”
Rio Ferdinand added: “What schools around the UK do for Sport Relief is amazing. The kids love it and so do mums, dads and teachers too!”
Mrs Amanda Gregory, head teacher of Harris primary school in Preston, is thrilled with her school’s challenge. She says: “The children really enjoy sport and it's great to be able to do something we enjoy and raise money for Sport Relief at the same time. When children realise there are others in the world who can't go to school and don't have clean water to drink or even access to medicines to keep them healthy, it makes them appreciate what they have and I hope it inspires them to take a lead in making the world a better, safer, fairer place to live.”
One of the children who took part in the game of table tennis, Daniel, 11, said: “I am a massive Man United fan and Rio and Wayne are my two favourite players. I never thought when I woke up this morning that I'd be meeting them. They were ok at ping pong but I think they should stick to football!”