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Flying fit: CFG teams up with Etihad and Hays

FLYING FIT: Gabriel Jesus says he and his Manchester City colleagues have felt the benefit of City Football Group's Flying Fit feature

FLYING FIT: Gabriel Jesus says he and his Manchester City colleagues have felt the benefit of City Football Group's Flying Fit feature

City Football Group (CFG) have teamed up with partners Etihad Airways and Hays for a new content feature – Flying Fit – aimed at helping players, and business travellers, maintain high performance after long-distance flights.

The CFG includes 2017/18 Premier League champions Manchester City, MLS side New York City FC and the A-League’s Melbourne City and over the course of a season our players can clock up thousands of air miles, both during the domestic season with their clubs as well as when representing their countries on international duty.

Flying Fit provides insight into the tactics they use to ensure they are ready to play – and win.

In 2016, City Football Group’s Global Football department, who provide footballing IP and “know-how” to the Group’s clubs, identified the need to understand the effects of travel on its players - and how they can maintain peak performance after flying.

Working with Etihad Airways’ expert, aviation medical practitioners, phase one of the project – to develop a new travel management strategy for all CFG clubs – was undertaken to help enhance performance on the pitch.

HIGH FLYER: Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy relaxes during a long-haul flight

Following strategic research and collaboration between CFG’s sports science departments and Etihad Airways, whose knowledge in the field of travel was essential to the project, phase one was completed and it became clear that the strategies athletes employ to remain at their peak when travelling were also applicable to business travellers.

Soon after, Hays signed up to the project recognising the significant benefits it could also offer both its employees and clients.

Speaking about the project, Ed Sulley, Head of Research and Innovation for City Football Group’s Global Football department, said: “Whether it’s travelling for the Champions League, MLS fixtures on the west coast or away games in Perth, all of the clubs connected with the City Football Group are affected by travel.

“Minimising the subsequent effects of travel, particularly over long distances, is important to ensure our teams are ready to perform the moment they touch down.   

“The Etihad Airways Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of travel and working with them on Flying Fit has enabled us to provide our players and staff with the information and resources they need to be at their best.”

TOUCH DOWN: Ederson and his City colleagues are ready for action after stepping off their Etihad flight

City’s Brazilian international Gabriel Jesus, is one of several players who has to undergo regular long-haul trips when representing his country, and he values the benefits of the innovative Flying Fit feature.

Gabriel said: “Manchester City staff help us a lot. They prepare us to be fit and well, for the next game.

“As for myself, particularly in regards to scoring goals, I am very happy to be able to help the national team and Manchester City, whenever I am back from my trips.”

Patrick Pierce, Vice-President Marketing Partnerships for Etihad Airways added: “Witnessing the collaboration between our aviation medical professionals and CFG’s sports science team has been a great experience. We are proud to use our knowledge to help CFG enhance player performance and business productivity when travelling.”

Martin Dixon, EMEA Director at Hays commented: “As a global organisation, ensuring our employees have the information and tools they need to remain alert and focused when travelling for business is a top priority for us. 

“Flying Fit is a great way to provide this information for our colleagues and clients, and highlights what business professionals can learn from the world of elite sport.”


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