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Sagna and Walsh join CITC education programme

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Keira Walsh and Bacary Sagna joined children from St Augustine’s Primary School to take part in one of City in the Community's education programmes.

CITC is celebrating 30 years of making a difference to the lives of people in Manchester, and one of its programmes sees the charity use football to address social issues.

With literacy levels lower than the national average in the region, CITC employs football to teach literacy and numeracy by inviting children to improve their skills in different ways, such as by writing match reports and interviewing players.

Impressed with the work, the Match of the Day cameras followed the stars of City's men's and women's teams to find out more about the programme. The film was aired on Sunday morning.

Walsh enjoyed the session and highlighted the benefits of learning through sport.

"It's a different environment for the kids to learn,” she stated. “You can learn while doing something you love.

“I could see the kids playing, enjoying themselves... It gets them involved. Everyone loves football so what better way to learn?"

Sagna echoed: "In the dressing room, there are so many languages - Spanish, English, French... I speak three of them so I can communicate with everyone. It's so important to learn.

"Whenever you're learning, always give the maximum."

The literacy and numeracy programmes are just two of the many that are delivered by CITC, which now employs 70 employees who in turn work with 50,000 people in Manchester.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch visited the City Football Academy to mark the launch of the celebrations. She too was pleased with what she saw.

"Sport should be accessible to all, and we are working hard to make sure that everyone can play and enjoy sport – no matter what background they are from and what their ability is," she said.

"Thousands have benefitted from the City in the Community programme and it is a great example of how valuable sports projects are to local people."

Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore agreed: "The impact that City in the Community has made in Manchester and beyond over the past 30 years will have been so positive for so many individuals.

“The fact that they are doing more than ever before and will continue to grow their work in the years to come is the real celebration of Manchester City’s commitment to their communities."

For more information on our school programmes, please contact Sam.waterhouse@mancity.com