Stokes & Kennedy take on Abu Dhabi challenge with young leaders

This week, ten Cityzens Giving Young Leaders are flying to Abu Dhabi from around the world for a Youth Leadership Experience with Etihad Airways.

Ahead of the trip, Manchester City Women stars Demi Stokes and Alanna Kennedy took part in an Abu Dhabi challenge to get Grace and Lauryn – two inspiring young leaders from City in the Community in Manchester (CITC) – excited to visit Abu Dhabi.

Watch the video above to learn more about what’s in store for the young leaders! 


After taking part in the challenge, we caught up with Grace and Lauryn to hear more about their work with City in the Community in Manchester.

Lauryn, how did you get involved with City in the Community?

I saw an advert for a free ‘Introduction to Coaching in Football’ course that was really accessible, and that allowed me to come and do some experience with City. I got involved in that, and from there I got offered to join the Young Leaders programme, which I’ve been a part of for five months now.

What’s your current involvement with CITC as a Young Leader?

It’s great because we work on different topics each week. One of our main focuses is women’s empowerment in football, which is very important for me as an individual and reflects in my coaching. With the Young Leaders, we always try to learn, take more things in, and keep progressing as people and as coaches.

What is the best thing about being a Young Leader?

Definitely the connections that you make and the opportunities that you get. If you’d said to me six months ago that I would be going to Abu Dhabi, I wouldn’t have believed you, but the opportunities are definitely a big benefit of being a young leader. Especially getting to meet new people and getting new contacts – it’s amazing! I can’t wait to experience a new culture in Abu Dhabi.

What about you Grace? When did you first get involved with City in the Community?

I started coming as a participant to City Girls when I was 11 and carried on, developing as a Young Leader and then on the BTEC programme, where I got loads of volunteering opportunities to work with City Girls, City Disability and Kicks. From there, I’ve progressed onto the Degree programme and been able to get a part-time job with City in the Community.

What is the best thing about being part of City in the Community?

The best thing is meeting new people and experiencing new things. Every session brings something different.

What are you most looking forward to about the trip to Abu Dhabi?

I’m really looking forward to meeting new people and making new connections – learning about their culture. I can’t wait to see their different coaching styles and bring elements back to introduce in my own sessions here in Manchester!