Last week, club legend Joleon Lescott joined Xylem and Manchester City on a special prize visit to this season’s Water Heroes Academy winners in Nairobi, Kenya.

Water Heroes Academy is a joint initiative between Xylem and Manchester City, with a global network of youth-led projects aimed at tackling water challenges in local communities using the power of football. Training provided to the Young Leaders by City in the Community coaches enables them to educate their wider communities on the importance of water hygiene.  

Nairobi was announced as this season’s top-voted Water Heroes Academy project, receiving the most fan votes in a campaign that spotlighted Young Leaders in five cities around the world. Additional training in the Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) curriculum and visit from Joleon formed part of the prize awarded to the Nairobi Young Leaders. 


The celebrations kicked-off with a full day of WASH training for the Young Leaders, during a three-day visit to the project. Lescott and City in the Community coaches visited Kibera Girls Soccer Academy with the Young Leaders who put their learnings into practice by delivering fun and educational football sessions to local community children.  

On the final day, the Young Leaders hosted a World Water Day festival for the wider community who were able to benefit from their recent training in the WASH curriculum. With the support of Lescott, and the City in the Community coaches, an exciting football tournament also took place to celebrate the hard work of the Young Leaders and their passion for helping others. 

Reflecting on the prize visit and Nairobi’s achievement, Young Leader Mercy, said: “We were delighted to welcome Joleon Lescott, Xylem and Manchester City to celebrate our achievements in Nairobi. I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has supported our journey in empowering the girls of Kibera through our approach of using football drills to raise awareness about water hygiene and menstrual health.”  

Manchester City Legend, Joleon Lescott, commented: “It was an inspiring experience meeting this season’s Xylem Water Heroes Academy Winners in Nairobi. The work that the group do, led by the young leaders and supported by club partners Xylem, is incredible and it was great seeing the real-life impact of this, as well as visiting the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy and attending the World Water Day festival.”  

Chetan Mistry, Strategy and Marketing Manager at Xylem Africa, said: “By using the passion for football as a vehicle for water education, Xylem and Manchester City have been able to reach millions of people to help build a more sustainable world. We aim to accelerate our action and inspire more people globally to take action on water in their own lives and communities around the world.”  

To date, Xylem and Manchester City have engaged with 15 projects and have reached over 16,000 project participants educating them on water responsibility in the Football and WASH curriculum.  

To find out more about how fans and communities can play their part to help tackle our global water challenges, visit 

View some pictures from Lescott’s visit below!