Zinchenko makes surprise visit to CITC birthday showcase

City’s Official Foundation, City in the Community (CITC), hosted an exclusive showcase event last week as part of its 35th anniversary celebrations.

The charity invited key partners and funders to the City Football Academy, where they were able to explore stations to find out more about CITC programmes and meet with participants.

City's Ukrainian international, Oleksandr Zinchenko, also made a surprise visit to the event, where he was able to answer questions from primary school participants.

Commenting on the player’s visit, one student said: “It was great to meet Oleksandr because we asked him a lot about getting older and he gave us some inspiring answers so we can maybe grow-up to be like him.”

                        Zinchenko makes surprise visit to CITC birthday showcase

Speaking about City in the Community, he added: “It’s a fun thing for us and all the community to do because there’s lots for different types of people, such as those with disabilities or who are older.

“I think lots of people like me would like to come to places like this so I’m very happy to take this opportunity today.”

City in the Community welcomed more than 100 participants to the City Football Academy’s indoor pitch, where they showcased ten projects, all with health, education and inclusion benefits.

                        Zinchenko makes surprise visit to CITC birthday showcase

One funder in attendance was the Premier League - Senior Community Development Manager, Emma Joussemet, said after the event: “It’s been absolutely wonderful to be here today to see all these different projects in the flesh and see the kids enjoying themselves.

“There is an absolutely amazing range of work being done at City in the Community; the quality of the staff and the passion of the work they’ve been doing is just brilliant.

“It’s really important to celebrate these landmarks – 35 years is a long time to be engaged in the community, but we know that that support is never going away, and the people here know that.

“Our funding continues to support this work and we’re really happy to see the benefit of it today.”

                        Zinchenko makes surprise visit to CITC birthday showcase

Since its inception in 1986, CITC has been empowering better lives through football across Greater Manchester.

The showcase was arranged as part of CITC’s 35th anniversary campaign, which will culminate in a matchday takeover at our Premier League home game against Crystal Palace on Saturday, October 30.

Commenting on the anniversary, CITC Ambassador Alex Williams said: “For me, seeing how we’re still providing activities for local people, since I first working with the charity almost 35 years ago, is great. Community is in the DNA of the Club and long may it continue for many years.

“Bringing people into facilities like the City Football Academy is very important because it brings them closer to the football club and helps them to understand the brilliant work we do, which is so diverse.

                        Zinchenko makes surprise visit to CITC birthday showcase

“I’d like to take the time to thank everyone, be it Oleks Zinchenko, staff or partners, for taking the time to celebrate with us today.”

The anniversary campaign includes an exclusive CITC 35 Prize Draw, offering fans the chance to Etihad flights with spending money, club prizes gig tickets and more via www.mancity.com/PrizeDraw.

Every penny raised in the month of October will go towards supporting the charity’s new mental health programme, City Thrive, which was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help provide support for thousands of young people.

In Manchester, the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health was highlighted as a major concern amongst carers and parents.

                        Zinchenko makes surprise visit to CITC birthday showcase

To help tackle this, a dedicated team has developed a new mental health curriculum, blending specially adapted football sessions with one-to-one mentoring and group workshops on mental health awareness, to improve mental wellbeing.

Additionally, specific mental health themed football sessions will be delivered from youth clubs across Manchester, enabling participants to enjoy physical activity whilst also accessing the benefits of one-to-one mentoring and group workshops.

To find out more about City in the Community, or help the charity celebrate it’s 35th birthday, keep an eye on #CITC35 across social media channels.

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