City in the Community has made a difference to the lives of young people on the other side of the world, thanks to a collaboration between two City Football Group clubs.
As City in the Community (CITC) celebrates its 30th year, coaches visited Australia to deliver training to young leaders from Melbourne City’s Cityzens Giving project, I Speak Football.
Building on the success of the annual Cityzens Giving Young Leaders Summit, held at the City Football Academy in Manchester, CITC coaches delivered four days of training to 60 young Australians, who are using football to promote inclusion within Melbourne’s youth.
In a city where 58% of people have at least one parent who was born overseas, I Speak Football uses community coaching sessions to connect isolated young people and boost language skills and social networks.
The training delivered by the visiting CITC coaches enables this programme to run throughout the year and kicked off with a day of workshops and practical sessions, which empowered the young leaders with skills to plan and deliver football clinics in four areas across Melbourne.
On the final day the young leaders – all aged 15-19 years – put their learning to the test as they organised and ran a pre-match activity at the Melbourne City v Central Coast Mariners game.
CITC Kicks Coach Jack Byram was one of the visiting coaches and was delighted to see the young people’s confidence and communication skills develop in such a short space of time.
“The whole experience was incredible,” he said.
“The soccer clinics were unbelievable and the young leaders were really engaged with the participants and I also learnt a lot.
“The power of football as a community engagement tool is incredible. Not just on a local scale in Manchester, but around the world.
“Football is a language we all speak and this project captures that completely.”
For Jack, who started as a community volunteer, before becoming an apprentice and now runs his own community football programme in Manchester, it was inspiring to see others begin their own coaching journey.
“Football has given me a career I love, which allows me to change other people’s lives in a positive way,” he added.
“I wish every single young leader in Melbourne the very best of luck and hopefully they can achieve their dream, like I have mine.”