Jack Rodwell and Javi Garcia dropped in on City in the Community to run the rule on the ‘Success Through Sport’ programme.
Regional and National journalists also gathered at the Etihad Stadium and CITC’s base at the Tennis and Football Centre to celebrate the project’s success in turning local people’s lives around
Success Through Sport is an eight-week course targeting the long-term unemployed in the local area between the ages of 18 and 35-years old.
No-one demonstrates the importance of the project more than Sam Brown, now full-time Aspirations Coordinator for the club.
Sam completed the course five years ago and, after a period volunteering for the club, now works full-time – a turnaround he credited to Success Through Sport in an address he gave to current course participants, Rodwell, Garcia and national reporters in the Academy Lounge at the stadium.
“I was going one way, and one way only but that changed thanks to the course,” Sam said, “I came across it on a leaflet - I got in touch and I did the eight-week programme – it was fun, enjoyable and when I finished I just managed to keep going.
“18 months ago, after volunteering for around two years, I was casually employed by the club community coaching and then six months ago I went full-time as Aspirations Coordinator.
I’ve really surprised myself - the best thing about the course is that it gave me confidence and I’ve learned to mix with other groups which I didn’t do when I was younger.
...Sam Brown, Aspirations Coordinator..
CITC works in partnership with Manchester Public Health Development to promote healthy living and to provide a route back into work and positive lifestyles using the power of football.
As part of the event, Rodwell and Garcia took part in one of the coaching sessions themselves to get a further idea of the life-changing work that occurs as part of the programme.
Lisa Kimpton, Health and Activity Manager for CITC, was responsible for organising the event and believes that the initiative is providing a vital service for hard to reach social groups, including those with mental health issues, the homeless and past offenders.
“We have two main aims with project centered on two major problems within Manchester: unemployment and healthy living,” Lisa said.
“The course is tailored to people who might not have had a lot of education in their early years, so they’re trying to start life from scratch at a later age."
...Lisa Kimpton, Health and Activity Manager at CITC...
“All participants are mentored by a CITC coach on how to become a football coach and then they will do an employability workshop where they learn skills like CV writing and interview technique.”
“These are people who might not have had a lot of education in their early years, so they’re trying to start life from scratch at a later age.”
Look out for footage from the event on Match of the Day 2 on BBC One at 22:25 on Sunday 20 January 2013.
If you are a local unemployed person between 18-35-years old and ready to make a positive change to your life then contact Mike Dixon, 07791221485/ 0161 438 7843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can claim a place on the course.