James Milner was in attendance at Leeds Trinity University where he was unveiled as the first Chancellor of Leeds Children’s University.
The organisation aims to promote social mobility by providing high quality, exciting and innovative learning activities and experiences outside normal school hours to children aged between seven and 14 years.
Their main ambitions are to raise aspirations, boost achievement and foster a love of learning, so that young people can make the most of their abilities, regardless of their background.
The England international was on hand to meet the children and took time out to take part in some ball work.
The Manchester City midfielder believes it is a good project to be involved in. He said: “It’s is going to change a lot of kids’ lives through sport and education.
“Hopefully it will make them want to learn and perhaps even think about going to university in the future.”
The 29-year-old spoke of how important it is that footballers get involved in projects such as this, which improve the lives of young people.
Milner said: “As footballers we are very fortunate to do something we love for a living.
“We get a profile by playing football and you have to use that for good and to be able to say that is pretty special.
“If I can change just one person’s life and give them that encouragement to take up sport, extra-curricular activities or just try a bit harder at school then that’s a job well done.”
Talking about football he admitted it would be good to see his first professional club, Leeds United, back in the Premier League.
He said: “It’s disappointing. I would like to see them back in the Premier League definitely but then I’d have to play them twice a season as the downside.
“Hopefully the new (Leeds United) manager can turn their fortunes around and get them on an upward spiral again as it’s a fantastic club and a club that deserves better.
“I’ve been out of Yorkshire for too long really – I’m still a Leeds fan, still check their scores and have to represent the white rose on the other side of the Pennines.”