HRH The Earl of Wessex has visited City Football Academy to see first-hand the positive impact of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).
MCFC is the first Premier League club to be licensed to run the DofE and has been offering DofE programmes as part of the education curriculum for its academy players in the U14 and U15 age groups since 2014.
The DofE gives young people a unique opportunity to gain valuable life experience and develop essential skills. 23 of City's young players have achieved their Bronze Award and a further 16 are currently working towards their Silver in 2016.
Participation in the DofE is part of the Club’s wider multi-skills lifestyle curriculum for academy players, designed to help equip them with the values, skills and experience required to succeed in life on and off the pitch.
In order to achieve a DofE Award, the players complete a combination of activities through volunteering, skills, physical development and the all-important expedition.
For the Volunteering section of the DofE, our players have delivered coaching sessions to local children at the City Football Academy as part of the Club’s ‘City in the Community’ programme.
The DofE is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary this year, having helped to transform the lives of millions of young people in the UK and across the globe since it was founded in 1956.
As part of the celebrations, HRH The Earl of Wessex, a Trustee of the Charity for many years, is travelling around the UK to meet DofE participants and volunteers.
Peter Westgarth, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award said:
“It’s fantastic to see Manchester City FC being recognised for the outstanding work it does with its young players and the wider community through its participation in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
"We hope to see many other professional sports clubs follow Manchester City’s example by offering the DofE in the future, helping us to achieve our Diamond Ambition of enabling two million more young people to start their DofE in the UK by 2020.”
Brian Marwood, Managing Director of City Football Services, added:
“The DofE plays an invaluable role in our programme to enhance the skills and attitudes needed to develop well-rounded and confident individuals at the Club.
“Today’s visit at the Etihad Campus has been a great experience for our players and has demonstrated the variety of activities undertaken to achieve their Awards, including DJing, expedition training and a popular volunteering element.
"As part of the Club’s commitment to the local community, we feel it’s important that our players volunteer and deliver coaching sessions to local young people, not only to shape them as individuals but to inspire the next generation.”
In its anniversary year, the DofE is encouraging people of all ages to set and achieve their goals through the DofE Diamond Challenge. This is a one-off initiative for 2016 that aims to give everyone a flavour of the life-changing benefits of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The Charity is encouraging people to get involved at www.dofediamondchallenge.org and set themselves a challenge – be that an adventure, learning a new skill or something personal.
HRH The Earl of Wessex will be continuing his DofE Diamond Anniversary Tour of the UK For the remainder of the year.