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City win gold award at Sports Business Awards 2021

City win gold award at Sports Business Awards 2021
Manchester City has been recognised at this year’s Sports Business Awards, receiving the Gold award for ‘Best COVID-19 Response by a Club’.

The award, which recognises an individual sporting club for outstanding initiatives to support its community, employees or business during the pandemic was presented at an event in London.

In an unprecedented period during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Club played a wide ranging role focusing on the positive impact it could make in supporting the city of Manchester’s emergency response to COVID-19, and its long-term recovery.

In early 2020, with the Etihad Stadium and Campus no longer being utilised for their primary purpose, the Club entered into partnership with the NHS and Manchester City Council which led to the transformation of the Campus and the delivery of a wide range of activities, including:

  • The opening of the Etihad Stadium for the training of over 350 nursing staff
  • A rest, relaxation and exercise centre for thousands of NHS and social care staff working within Manchester’s hospitals and community health services
  • A ‘click and collect’ shopping service ensuring that groceries and household supplies were readily available for staff who needed them
  • A drive-through coronavirus testing facility set up, utilising one of the Club’s car parks which increased availability of tests for thousands of NHS, key workers and the wider public with over 1,000 tests per day carried out on site.
  • A safe and secure location at the Etihad Stadium to hold special summer clinics enabling approximately 6,000 children across Manchester to keep up to date with their immunisations. 
  • A mass vaccination centre at the Etihad campus, which still continues to operate on site today.

                        City win gold award at Sports Business Awards 2021

With many people in our community suffering significant financial hardship, unable to access some basic necessities, the Club and City in the Community helped to ease the pressure families were facing by donating food, everyday essentials, gifts and education resources for school children and young adults.

Alongside this, the Club made thousands of phone calls to fans, sent out gift packages to those over 70 and distributed letters to local residents and care homes.

Players from the men’s and women’s teams also took part in video calls with patients in hospitals across Manchester to let them know their football family was thinking of them.

The Cityzens Giving for Recovery programme was also launched to help make a positive difference in response to the pandemic via targeted projects near each of CFG’s ten clubs.

Mobilising CFG’s ten clubs, thousands of staff, players, coaches and millions of fans, the campaign has raised over £1 million through donations from kind-hearted City fans and partners which CFG matched pound for pound, seen over 10,000 hours of staff volunteering dedicated to local recovery-linked projects near to each of CFG’s clubs and supported over 100,000 people globally to date.

Reflecting on the decision to award Manchester City ‘Gold’, the judges at the Sports Business Awards 2021 noted: “[The Club had] a fantastic partnership with the NHS making such good use of their facilities and resources. The support to the local community was impressive. 

“Some hugely impressive numbers in terms of the people helped across multiple initiatives including vaccination centre, testing, food donations, financial support and general kindness.

“An excellent community led programme [and] a club responding well to the challenge and using its resources for the greater good.”

Commenting on the award, Danny Wilson, Managing Director, Manchester City Operations said: “We are delighted to have received the Gold award in such an important category at this year’s Sports Business Awards.

“Over a period of several months we were proud to play our part to support the people of Manchester at a time when they needed it most, bringing together colleagues from every department within the Club to deliver a whole host of initiatives assisting with both the emergency response to COVID-19, and our community’s long-term recovery.”

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