Julen Lopetegui visits Wolves Foundation

Julen Lopetegui visits Wolves Foundation Image

Wolves head coach Julen Lopetegui was keen to learn more about the club’s official charity and their work in Wolverhampton ahead of this weekend’s Foundation Focus Fixture at Molineux.

The Spaniard, along with first-team coach Edu Rubio, made his way down to All Saints Action Network in the heart of the city to meet staff and participants of Wolves Foundation’s Premier League Kicks programme.

Lopetegui also spoke to Foundation ambassador Mark Rhodes, as part of a community feature to air on Sunday morning’s Match of the Day repeat show on the BBC.

Luke Shearing, community and cohesion manager at Wolves Foundation, said: “We’d really like to thank Julen and Edu for coming to visit us on Monday night.

“They took a great interest in what we do within Premier League Kicks and other projects across the wider Foundation too.”

As well as football sessions, the 12 to 18 year-olds were also given the unique opportunity to try out a virtual reality workshop with VR Education provider Round Midnight.

Participants are immersed in a VR headset, offering players a range of virtual decisions which show them consequences of getting involved in knife and gang crime.

And the Wolves boss also tried out the tech with one of the groups!

Speaking of his visit to the Kicks session and this weekend’s Foundation Focus Fixture as Wolves face Chelsea at Molineux, Lopetegui said: “This is another part of the positive intention that football has.

“Fortunately, our club works in a very good way to help a lot of people, especially children, because they need to have these facilities and this possibility to play football in a safe environment – away from all of the dangerous things that they could face in the community.

“I think this programme, as well as everything else the Foundation does is fantastic and this weekend we will do everything we can to highlight this and encourage everyone to give their support to the Foundation so they can continue their vital work.”

Luke added: “One of our key aims as the club’s official charity is to help create safer, stronger communities for everyone.

“Through Premier League Kicks we try to reach those vulnerable or socially isolated children who could be at risk of getting involved in crime.

“Largely that is through the power of football, providing them with a safe and fun environment to play, but also including educational workshops like the Virtual Decisions activity alongside that.

“Unfortunately, it’s no secret that youth violence in Wolverhampton has been getting worse. The number of under-18s involved in knife crime has more than doubled over the last five years.

“We’re doing our bit as a club and Foundation to tackle that, and hopefully showing the young people another path.”

Along with other Kicks participants Lopetegui also met 14-year-old Taye, who he presented with the ‘One of Our Own’ award as part of the Premier League supports campaign.

Taye regularly attends Premier League Kicks, is a member of the Foundation’s ‘Action Pack’ youth voice group and a part of the matchday ball crew, and received a commemorative frame and scarf from Lopetegui to mark the occasion.

You can catch Julen Lopetegui and the Wolves Foundation on Match of the Day this Sunday 9th April, from 8.25am on BBC One. You can also catch up on the iPlayer all week.

"Of course it’s so important to give back to the community and Wolverhampton as a whole. It's great to be here and to show our support."

Maximilian Kilman | Wolves Captain and Foundation Ambassador

"As a lifelong Wolves fan, to represent the Club and Foundation is something I'll cherish forever."

Daz James | Wolves Disability FC

"Without Wolves Foundation I wouldn't be here today, that's for certain."

John Martin | Head 4 Health participant

"It is amazing to be out there meeting people and having some fun. It is really important for Wolves to have this connection with the fans and to see the happiness in their faces."

Toti Gomes | Wolves Defender

"Savannah absolutely loves the group. The staff are committed to making every single session fun and welcoming."

Natasha | Healthy Goals parent

"It’s special because it's my club and I’m so proud to be from Wolves as well. I can see the projects and all the work Wolves Foundation are doing and I know it makes such an impact, so to even be a little part of that and to help out where I can – it's so exciting."

Amber Sandhu | Broadcaster and Foundation Ambassador

"It’s huge for the school, I can’t speak highly enough of Wolves Foundation and the opportunities that they give us."

Mr Robinson | Woodsetton School

“I think all football clubs should be the beating heart of their communities and Wolves, through the Foundation, manages to do that."

Johnny Phillips | Sky Sports Presenter and Foundation Ambassador

"We get loads of different opportunities with a Premier League club. I feel really privileged to be a part of it."

Mustafa | Football & Education College Academy student

"Frank has Alzheimer’s Disease and when he was first diagnosed we felt lost and alone. Attending Molineux Memories is a lifeline for both of us; it is run by friendly, committed staff who ensure that everyone is included and enjoys themselves."

Frank and Alison | Molineux Memories

"To come here and be hands on with the kids is unreal. Working with Wolves and the Foundation is a blessing and I'm honoured. It feels surreal sometimes but it's the best feeling."

S-X | Music Producer and Foundation Ambassador

"It's good to give back what you got. Football and the Wolves Foundation help me, so I like to help the community."

Taye | Premier League Kicks

"Wolves is a fantastic football club, and they’re excelling off the pitch as well with all the brilliant community work that the Foundation does. The passion of the coaches and the opportunities to play are amazing."

Jack Rutter | Former Great Britain Paralympian and Foundation Ambassador

"Wolves has definitely helped my personal development, but now also helps me to develop people I work with. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the opportunities Wolves Foundation have given me."

Carl Ackasovs | Wolves Foundation

Wolves Latest News & Videos