The Blues fielded a full strength team for their visit to Parrs Wood Mega Bowl earlier this week as part of the club’s commitment to ‘Places for Players’ – a division of the Premier League’s flagship community programme Creating Chances.
Shay Given, Stuart Taylor, Kolo Toure, Sylvinho, Pablo Zabaleta, Gareth Barry, Joleon Lescott, Nigel de Jong, Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Roque Santa Cruz, Stephen Ireland, Micah Richards, Nedum Onuoha, Martin Petrov, Javier Garrido and Vincent Kompany all had a bowling lane each as they joined local children in various teams.
Overwhelmed youngsters, with ages ranging from five to 18, competed, took photos and joked with their heroes for nearly three hours, though Mark Hughes may have to schedule a few practice games if the amount of strikes were anything to go by.
“It’s very important that we can give something back to our community,” said Sylvinho. “Sure, we have just finished training and we are a little tired, but everyone knows what an event like this means to the children. I’m sure they will remember this day and the occasion for many years to come and that’s something money can’t buy.”
I can’t stress how amazing Manchester City have been. The support the club has given to young people in Manchester with regards to attending various events, issuing match tickets and organising activity weeks during half-term, has been nothing short of fantastic.
...Anne Marie Keating, Manchester City Council Leisure services...
Anne Marie Keating, a representative from Manchester City Council's Leisure services, was delighted by the event. She said: “We’ve been developing a partnership with City in the Community and this is one of the things we co-ordinated together.
“My team’s remit is to engage hard-to-reach young people by involving them into positive activities which can be anything from dance, art to various sports.
“I can’t stress how amazing Manchester City have been. The support the club has given to young people in Manchester with regards to attending various events, issuing match tickets and organising activity weeks during half-term, has been nothing short of fantastic.”
CITC’s Inclusion Manager Dave Coppin added: “We are very grateful to the Manager and players for taking time out to meet and spend time with the young people. We hope that this party will help to make Christmas extra special for the young people and players alike.”
Blues boss Mark Hughes handed out Live4City gift bags to top off an unforgettable day’s entertainment for all concerned.
“It’s important that the players give something back to the community and this Christmas our squad are really making an effort to get out and about at events throughout Manchester,” said Hughes.
“The Christmas bowling party has been the highlight of our community events for the last couple of seasons and it’s something that the players look forward to.”