Play Forward by Marcus Rashford launched by FBB, Marcus Rashford and Nike

Marcus Rashford, Football Beyond Borders and Nike have teamed up to create ‘Play Forward’, a pioneering programme to instil self-belief for the next generation of young people. 


The Play Forward curriculum, designed by our curriculum team at FBB and co-created with Marcus Rashford and Nike, is leveraging the power of football to enable 11 - 12 year olds to understand their own unique superpowers, establish positive relationships and dare to dream big. 

We worked with Marcus to identify his own personal advice for the next generation. The themes explored in the curriculum include: the importance of community; self-belief and confidence; aspirations and visualisation, skills and tactics. Our vision for society is one where all young people can thrive in mainstream school with the support of a trusted, consistent and relatable adult in their lives and through Play Forward we are starting that journey with young people in Year 7. On the programme Marcus said:

“I’ve been working to establish a programme for the next generation of footballers for many years and it’s an honour to have worked with the team at Football Beyond Borders and Nike to bring ‘Play Forward’ to life. ‘Play Forward’ is about cultivating a mindset of self-belief and embracing the personal potential which lies in everybody. I can’t wait to see everyone in action.”


Play Forward is delivered by us in FBB partner schools and in community centres by our delivery partner, Manchester Young Lives, in two-hour weekly on / off pitch sessions over a 12-week programme. At the end of each 12-week programme, the young people are invited to a graduation ceremony to connect, reflect, and celebrate their journey. 


In line with our theory of change, Play Forward supports young people who are transitioning into secondary school reach their full potential both in the classroom and out on the playing field – prioritising Social Emotional Learning methods to empower young people  to sharpen their decision-making skills, improve their interaction with others and learn to self-manage their emotions. 


We are thankful to Nike for backing this initiative with a £1,000,000 investment over 5 years, starting in Rashford’s home ground of Greater Manchester and scaling to London and Birmingham, with a focus on underserved communities. 



For any enquiries about the programme please contact Senior Press and Advocacy Manager 

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