We’re delighted to announce that the Group has offically partnered with a foundation set up by one of the world’s greatest sporting icons.

Joining forces with Johan Cruyff Foundation, we will be working with them to launch state of the art sporting facilities for children and young people within schools across our Group.

The Johan Cruyff Foundation helps support and develop sports activities for children all over the world; their main focus being children in need.  The facilities provided create space for the young people to grow, make friends and improve their physical and mental health.

Initially, two special Cruyff Courts will be built at Pontville School and Cumberland School. The Cruyff Courts are adapted to the needs of pupils with SEN and give them opportunities to participate and be active.  Some of the adaptations are as follows:

  •  adapted playing surface for young people with visual impairment, using colours and different textures
  •  adjusted or additional sport attributes on the Cruyff Court such as baskets, hockey beams or multifunctional nets
  •  additional facilities such as athletics track or wheelchair course
  •  adjustments to the premises to provide the best possible landscape for physiotherapy objectives

Each Special Cruyff Court is different to ensure the maximum impact and benefit.

This is the first time that we have worked together but plans are already in place to deliver the Cruyff Foundation’s Schoolyard14 initiative at some of our other schools, with further Cruyff Courts to be developed across the country in the future.

Phil Jones, CEO of WG, commented on the announcement by saying:

We are delighted to be working with the Cruyff Foundation. Johan Cruyff was an icon that transcended sport and the work of the Foundation continues this by helping to provide young people with amazing sporting opportunities. At Witherslack Group, we have the highest of aspirations for all of our children and young people, including their sporting ambitions. That’s why partnering with such a world renowned organisation as the Cruyff Foundation is so important, as it will allow us to offer the most innovative and accessible sporting facilities in the UK to our young people and the communities around our schools.

Niels Meijer, director of the Cruyff Foundation, echoed Mr Jones comments by saying:

We’re very proud about the very first Special Cruyff Court in the UK, and we look forward to expanding the (Special) Cruyff Courts and Schoolyards14 here in the future, thanks to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. We are excited to be working together to create spaces for children to play sports, so they can develop themselves!

The first two Cruyff Courts, are planned to be completed by Spring 2020 and, as is tradition with previous Cruyff Courts, will be named after iconic sporting stars.

Watch this space for more updates!