Saints and Virgin Media join forces to host streamed PE lesson


Virgin Media hosted a nationwide virtual PE lesson led by Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl and his coaching staff at Staplewood Campus.

Live streamed to over 400 schools nationwide, the Covid-safe lesson saw a host of Saints’ first-team stars showcase drills for school children.

Helping children get active again after a year of lost physical education during the Covid-19 pandemic, 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 explained by captain James Ward-Prowse, Theo Walcott and Ché Adams, who were also joined by Southampton FC Women’s team captain and PE teacher, Shelly Provan.

Commenting on the session, Ralph Hasenhüttl 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.”

The Virgin Media Football Academy was created earlier this year, 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.

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

An academy product himself, James Ward-Prowse hopes the session can inspire Saints stars of the future: “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."