Manchester City and Etihad Airways team up to empower young community football leaders

  • As part of Manchester City’s global community work, 50 young leaders spent their week at City Football Academy
  • Supported by Etihad Airways, leaders took part in a week-long summit offering cutting edge training in community football leadership
  • Leaders are delivering a community football and music project to tackle unemployment in young people in Manchester
  • Watch the Young Leaders Summit wrap up video, here:    
Manchester, UK – Manchester City Football Club (Manchester City) and Etihad Airways have joined forces to develop youth leaders around the world, who are tackling social issues in their communities by delivering youth-led football projects.
Returning for its third year, the Cityzens Giving Young Leaders Summit welcomed more than 50 young leaders from Manchester City’s global network of community projects to City’s state of the art training facility, City Football Academy. The week-long programme saw leaders from 12 global cities take part in a variety of on and off-the-pitch workshops to develop and enhance their community football leadership and coaching skills.
As the Official Summit Partner, Etihad Airways connected young people from around the world by flying many of them to Manchester. For several delegates, this was their first experience of international travel.
Young leaders in Manchester have been working hard for the past two years to engage over 500 young people through their passion for football and music. 
However, the youth unemployment rate among 16 to 24-year-olds in Manchester stands at over 22% so their ‘Boots & Beats’ project has been reaching out to even more young people and connect them with job related training, volunteering opportunities and employee mentoring from our partner SAP.
Fayad, 20, has been with the project for a year and a half and attended his first Summit: “I started as a participant and in the last 18 months I have been able to gain a lot of training and experience. With that, I am now leading sessions and inspiring young people with the two things I love, football and music.”
“I’ve learnt a lot about myself during the Summit. I’ve improved my leadership skills but I’ve also leant how to be patient and how to work well as a team. This week has brought together young people from all around the world who share one common goal – to make a change. We’ve learnt so much from each other and it’s an experience I will never forget.”
16 returning leaders from Manchester, New York, Melbourne, Cape Town, Kuala Lumpur, Barranquilla, Kolkata and São Paulo co-delivered the Summit to their peers and new leaders from projects in Beijing, Bandung (Indonesia), Mexico City and Abu Dhabi.
The delegates, aged between 16-30 years old, are currently delivering community football projects addressing a range of issues affecting young people, including gang crime, substance abuse, HIV / AIDS, obesity and creating safe spaces for children to play football.
Omar Berrada, Chief Operating Officer for Manchester City FC commented:
“We are extremely proud that our community footprint continues to grow and develop every year – both locally where City Football Group has Clubs in Manchester, New York City and Melbourne but also globally. This summit epitomises the power of football to change lives and we’re delighted to be working with Etihad Airways to connect the young leaders together.
“We’ve brought young leaders from different backgrounds, speaking a number of different languages and yet they all share a common goal – to make a difference through football. Using our community philosophy and years of experience, we are equipping the young leaders with the tools they need to go out and deliver life changing projects in their communities.”
Patrick Pierce, Vice President, Marketing Partnerships at Etihad Airways, said:
“Etihad Airways has a duty to contribute to communities around the world. By flying delegates into Manchester for the Cityzens Giving Young Leader Summit, we are honoured to connect young people who seek to address complex social issues in their home cities. This is another powerful example of using the medium of football to tackle a wide range of social problems and give young people a brighter future.” 
The week also saw leadership master classes from Club experts including members from City Football Group’s Leadership Team as well as more practical sessions on event and project management, safeguarding and monitoring and evaluation.
On the final day, leaders put all their newly found knowledge and experience into practice as they organised and delivered two highly successful football festivals for 240 local school children and Manchester City fans.
Watch the Young Leaders Summit wrap up video, here: [insert YouTube link]
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