This season’s success story on the pitch has been matched once again by City In The Community, which was recently honoured at the prestigious annual North West Football Awards in Manchester.
CITC won for Best Community Scheme Project of the Year for their Strike a Balance initiative. The programme uses the example of a footballer’s diet of to help young people realise that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring
Strike a Balance is a five week programme run in 120 primary schools and reaching 3,600 children and their families each year in Manchester. Manchester Healthy schools, the chef of local East Manchester restaurant, Vermilion, and Manchester City Council have all contributed to the creation and delivery of the programme. Scholars from City’s Academy also helped out as part of their multiskills lifestyle programme.
Manzur Ahmed, Managing Director of Vermillion said ‘We are very excited to be working with Manchester City on a project that can make a real difference to young people in the community.’ Manzur also added ‘it’s great to work in the community and help young people make informed decisions about their diets which they take back to their families and friends.’
Participants take part in cookery sessions, learn how to make sure exercise is part of their daily lives and get to take home affordable healthy recipes for the whole family at home. All schools also get the opportunity take part in a football tournament held in the shadow of the Etihad Stadium at the Manchester Tennis and Football Centre.
The NWFA judges said: “Strike a Balance uses innovative partnerships, from private and public organisations, and the brand of the Football club, supported by a highly effective and informative resource pack that is targeted perfectly at the desired age group.”
Commenting on the win, Lisa Kimpton, Healthy Schools Project Manager, said: “Given that a high percentage of the children’s role models are footballers, it is important to show that our footballers have to eat a good, balanced diet to play their best. Having Vermillion involved has allowed the children to see the great variety of healthy food available to them helping them understand that eating healthy can be fun and exciting.”