• As part of Manchester City’s global community work, five young leaders from Kolkata, India travelled to City Football Academy, Manchester
  • Supported by Etihad Airways, leaders took part in a week-long summit offering cutting edge training in community football leadership
  • In Kolkata, leaders are delivering a community football project to educate children about health, sanitation, and how to access clean water
  • Watch the Young Leaders Summit wrap up video, here:

Kolkata, INDIA – Manchester City Football Club (Manchester City) and Etihad Airways have joined forces to develop youth leaders from India and around the world, who are tackling social issues in their communities by delivering youth-led football projects.

Returning for its third year, the Cityzens Giving Young Leaders Summit welcomed more than 50 young leaders from Manchester City’s global network of community projects to City’s state of the art training facility, City Football Academy. The week-long programme saw five leaders from Kolkata among the many others from a further 11 other global cities take part in a variety of on and off-the-pitch workshops to develop and enhance their community football leadership and coaching skills.

As the Official Summit Partner, Etihad Airways connected young people from Kolkata to their peers by flying them to Manchester. For several delegates, this was their first experience of international travel.

In Kolkata, Manchester City works with young leaders from Magic Bus India to help deliver their ‘Healthy Goals’ football project to educate children about health, sanitation, and how to access clean water.

India is a rising nation with declining poverty, but over 60% of people lack adequate sanitation. M.D Salim, from Kolkata, attended the Summit with other young leaders helping step up to make a change.

“In my community there’s an environmental problem,” he said.

“This means that some kids swim in polluted canals, drink dirty water, and are at risk of disease. Through football we will bring them together and teach them about how to live a healthy life and how to access clean water. We want to change their habits and save lives.

“This week has provided me with new experiences and I’ve learnt a lot about my leadership style and how to communicate better with people. My favourite moment from the Summit was delivering the football festival to local children. I was a little bit nervous before the festival but we worked together as a team and everyone played their role in making the day a fantastic success.”

Salim was joined by fellow leaders Mehtab Alam, Payal Gupta, Parvati Pujari and Pinky Yadav – all from Magic Bus in Kolkata.

Sixteen returning leaders from Manchester, New York, Melbourne, Cape Town, Kuala Lumpur, Barranquilla, Kolkata and São Paulo co-delivered the Summit to their peers and new leaders from projects in Beijing, Bandung (Indonesia), Mexico City and Abu Dhabi.

The delegates, aged between 16-30 years old, are currently delivering community football projects addressing a range of issues affecting young people, including gang crime, substance abuse, HIV / AIDS, obesity and creating safe spaces for children to play football.

Omar Berrada, Chief Operating Officer for Manchester City FC commented:

“We are extremely proud that our community footprint continues to grow and develop every year – both locally where City Football Group has Clubs in Manchester, New York City and Melbourne but also globally. This summit epitomises the power of football to change lives and we’re delighted to be working with Etihad Airways to connect the young leaders together.

“We’ve brought young leaders from different backgrounds, speaking a number of different languages and yet they all share a common goal – to make a difference through football. Using our community philosophy and years of experience, we are equipping the young leaders with the tools they need to go out and deliver life changing projects in their communities.”

Patrick Pierce, Vice President, Marketing Partnerships at Etihad Airways said:

“Etihad Airways has a duty to contribute to communities around the world. By flying delegates into Manchester for Cityzens Giving Young Leader Summit, we are honoured to connect young people who seek to address complex social issues in their home cities. This is another powerful example of using the medium of football to lift young people out of trouble, into safety and on the path to a more stable and prosperous future.”

The week also saw leadership master classes from Club experts including members from City Football Group’s Leadership Team as well as more practical sessions on event and project management, safeguarding and monitoring and evaluation.

On the final day, leaders put all their newly found knowledge and experience into practice as they organised and delivered two highly successful football festivals for 240 local school children and Manchester City fans.

Since 2014, City Football Group and its partners have invested more than £1.7million into its global community work. It has seen its network of dedicated young leaders deliver community football projects in fourteen cities around the world, with more than 16,000 children and young people being positively impacted.

Etihad Airways has been Manchester City’s main club partner since May 2009. The Club’s stadium has been renamed as the Etihad Stadium, forming the centrepiece of the Etihad Campus, which encompasses a large part of the Sport City site in East Manchester.

Attendance at the Summit is also powered by Manchester City partners SAP, who support delegate cohorts from Manchester, New York, and Beijing, and SHB.


About Manchester City Football Club

Manchester City FC is an English Premier League club whose roots began in East Manchester in 1880 as St Mark’s West Gorton. It officially became Manchester City FC in 1894 and has since then gone on to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup, four League Championship titles, including two Premier League titles, and five FA Cups. Manchester City FC is one of four teams comprising the City Football Group and counts New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama F-Marinos among its sister clubs.

Under manager Pep Guardiola, one of the most highly decorated managers in world football, the Club plays its domestic and UEFA Champions League home fixtures at the Etihad Stadium, a spectacular 55,000 seat arena that City have called home since 2003. Today, the Stadium sits on the wider Etihad Campus, which also encompasses the City Football Academy, a world-leading first team training and youth development facility located in the heart of East Manchester. Featuring a 7,000 capacity Academy Stadium, the City Football Academy is also where Manchester City Women’s Football Club and the Elite Development Squad train on a daily basis and play their competitive home games.

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About Etihad Aviation Group

Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) is a diversified global aviation and travel group comprising five business divisions – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners. The group has minority investments in seven airlines: airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional.

From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to, or has announced plans to serve, more than 110 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of over 120Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with 204 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25Boeing 777Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. For more information, please visit: