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Bookable Sunday University of Salford We Think Big

Let’s Have a Kickabout – How Sport Brings People Together

Sport is all around us and is a prism through which millions of people define their lives. It is a powerful force, which has the potential to bring people together, strengthen communities and give people hope. In this session we talk about the role that sport plays in our society today and how it can be a force for good.

Location: University of Salford – Lecture Theatre

Sunday, 1:45pm – 2:30pm

Suitable for: Step-free, all ages



Michael Andrew James Sheridan
Digital Creative, Presenter
Michael Andrew James Sheridan is an innovative digital creative, changemaker and presenter. Having worked with Netflix, Channel 4, the BBC, One Campaign, NBC, ITV, and South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, he is passionate about storytelling and amplifying unheard voices. As chair of the sustainability and climate network, 4Earth, Michael is at the forefront of climate action at Channel 4, working with a range of famous faces, government ministers and organisations such as the United Nations and Public Media Alliance. Michael loves hearing people’s stories and presents and produces podcasts for the Edinburgh TV Festival and Audi.


Lizzi Doyle
Producer, BBC 5Live Sport
Lizzi Doyle is a multi-award-winning producer currently at BBC 5Live Sport. Lizzi produces the BBC podcast “Jill Scott’s Coffee Club” which showcases players across the WSL. She is a lifelong Liverpool fan who travels home and away and has worked on numerous community projects throughout her career.

John Shiels
Chief Executive, Manchester United Foundation
John Shiels has been the Chief Executive of Manchester United Foundation since January 2008. John leads a dedicated team of 145 members of staff, who deliver football coaching, educational programmes and personal development, providing young people with opportunities to change their lives for the better.

Over the last 14 years, John has led the growth of Manchester United Foundation into one of the largest sports education charities in the UK and a leading organisation for youth impact across the North West. Each season the Foundation directly engages upwards of 20,000 young people across the boroughs of Greater Manchester. John is also recognised for public speaking having conducted countless leadership workshops with Manchester United icons Sir Bobby Charlton and Bryan Robson. 

Prior to leading the Foundation, John oversaw the operations of Bobby Charlton Soccer Schools and previously held the position of head coach for Manchester United’s international Soccer Schools. He graduated from Manchester University and sits on the board of trustees for the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation and the multi-academy educational group The Dean Trust. In March 2022 John was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Honours List by HRH The Princess Royal for his service to young people; those across the Manchester United and Greater Manchester community.

Sophia Sanderson
Founder, Women Of Colour and The Beautiful Game
Frustrated by the limited opportunities in football for women of colour, Sophia founded Manchester-based grassroots initiative Women of Colour and The Beautiful Game. Both on and off the pitch, her work is dedicated to creating safe spaces to engage with every aspect of the game – from trying it out for the first time, to beginning a career in professional football. By actively dismantling the social and cultural barriers that often isolate and discourage women of colour from pursuing football, Sophia is paving the way for a more inclusive and accessible future for the sport.

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