Changing lives through football

Melbourne City FC joins forces with Manchester City FC and New York City FC in $780,000 football charity initiative

The City Football Group, majority owner of Melbourne City FC, has announced a $780,000 charitable investment as part of Cityzens Giving, an international program that allows City fans to extend the ‘football effect’ to areas of need across the globe.

The scheme, which is the first of its kind, gave thousands of Cityzens (including members of Melbourne City FC, New York City FC and Manchester City FC) the opportunity to pledge $9 to youth led charity football projects in six cities designed to improve the lives of more than 2,000 young people in disadvantaged communities.

The funding will help the projects to address a range of issues affecting young people, including tackling gang crime, HIV education and promotion of a healthy lifestyle.  In Melbourne, Cityzens have chosen to support an initiative known as ‘I Speak Football’ which will train 20 young coaches to run inclusive football sessions for 100 socially isolated young people.

Scott Munn, CEO of Melbourne City FC, said: “Melbourne City FC has always believed in the importance of supporting our local community in innovative ways.  The creation of Cityzens Giving is an important addition to our existing community initiatives and a unique reminder of the transformative power of football both in Australia and around the world.”

Commenting on the announcement, Tom Pitchon, City Football Group’s Foundation Director, said: “Today, all City Football Group clubs and each of the regions we operate in have strong community programs.  Cityzens Giving puts our fans at the heart of this, by letting them decide how we fund community football programs locally and worldwide.”

Carmel Guerra, CEO of Centre for Multicultural Youth, which will oversee the ‘I Speak Football’ project added:  “We greatly appreciate the support of City Football Group and their Cityzens. This investment will enable us to deliver an exciting new program that will promote positive change for young people here in Melbourne.”

Melbourne City FC’s participation in Cityzens Giving comes in addition to the Club’s existing and award-winning community programs targeting Melbourne, Greater Melbourne and Regional Victoria.  The Club currently aims to engage with approximately 40,000 children and young people every year through its football, inclusion and health and active lifestyle initiatives.  The creation of dedicated community pitches at the new City Football Academy, Melbourne, will allow the club to run additional school holiday programs while offering local football clubs and visiting community groups the opportunity to tour its facility and watch its Hyundai A-League team train.    

Around the world, Cityzens Giving will see over 100 young leaders in six cities deliver programs that will help more than 2,000 young people.

Cape Town – Girls First will train 20 young female coaches to deliver football based HIV prevention sessions to 600 township girls and women.

Kuala Lumpur – Through the Lead program, over 200 young girls from disadvantaged communities will take part in a weekly football sessions combined with tuition and support to help them continue their education.

Manchester – Led by a team of youth volunteers across Manchester, Boots & Beats will provide 500 young people with access to night time football and music sessions, combined with pathways into qualifications and jobs.

Melbourne – ‘I Speak Football’ will train 20 young coaches to run weekly inclusive football sessions for 100 socially isolated young people, building friendships and a sense of community through the global language of football.

New York – City Soccer in the Community will train 18 young leaders to deliver healthy lifestyle messages through football, reaching out to over 400 young people and their families across the city. 

Barranquilla – The Urban Football project will help over 200 young people in Colombia to escape the dangers of gang violence and drugs.