As part of the annual celebrations for Black History month and Diversity Day, students and staff welcomed former Manchester United player and South African International, Quinton Fortune, to Loreto to share his experiences of growing up in an underprivileged area of Cape Town and his inspirational journey to success.
“It’s very important to share the message of Black History Month,” said Quinton. “The club and the Manchester United Foundation have been supporting diversity for a long time and by sharing my story, and how things have changed since I grew up in South Africa, I hope to educate young people to have a better understanding of how we should be living with equal opportunities.”
In his home country, Quinton experienced racism and segregation due to the colour of his skin, and upon his move to the UK at the age of 14, he did not speak English and had to quickly accustom himself to a new culture.
At Loreto, Quinton led student workshops, supported a ‘history of diversity within football’ quiz and took part in a Q & A with the students.
Year 7 student Genesis, who would like to follow in Quinton’s footsteps and be a professional footballer, said, “I didn’t think that professional footballers would have to go through the things he has, like apartheid, but he got through it and worked hard to get where he is right now. The main advice I’ll take away with me is to work hard. It’s given me motivation to get to where I want to be.”
The visit was part of ‘Diversity Day’ at Loreto and was arranged through Lewis Grimshaw, the Manchester United Foundation coach and mentor who is based full time at Loreto and who works with groups of students to help support and strengthen personal development.