Melbourne City FC will celebrate its ongoing commitment to the Victorian community this week, highlighting the work within the Club’s City in the Community (CITC) program each day.
The bi-annual event – which was last celebrated by the Club in February – will culminate at Melbourne City FC’s Hyundai A-League match against Perth Glory at AAMI Park this Friday night.
With social responsibility an essential part of the fabric of Melbourne City FC, CITC will be running several programs throughout the week, using the power of football to inspire, educate and create opportunities for men, women and youth of various social and multicultural backgrounds.
In addition to the sports intervention projects throughout the week, CITC will be engaging in fundraising and awareness activities at Friday night’s match.
CITC Week coincides with the 2017 Cityzens Giving campaign, which commenced last week, and one of CITC’s flagship programs, I Speak Football.
The program uses football to bring young people from different communities together to build social connections and reduce isolation, while improving participant’s English skills through football programs. I Speak Football will run across Collingwood, Braybrook, Fitzroy and the City Football Academy in Melbourne this week and will be led by the Club’s Social Inclusion Officer, Albert Mambo.
The Club is calling on fans to submit their vote for the project throughout the Cityzens Giving campaign, which will help the program receive a share of over $650,000 of funding donated by Manchester City.
The City Football Academy will also host the Club’s new education program, the Melbourne City Homework Club, which runs on Tuesday afternoons for students from local primary schools from the northern region, including Charles La Trobe, Eastern Preston Islamic College and Watsonia Primary.
Through the help of City’s volunteer tutors, the Club provides tuition for 20 grade 5 and 6 students on specific homework tasks. The group also participates in a structured football session run by Melbourne CITC coaches, to provide a balance of school work and healthy physical activity.
Visits to the Western English Language School will also take place in Footscray and Werribee, with CITC providing free clinics for newly-arrived students in the South-West Victoria Region.
On Thursday, CITC will introduce the inaugural ‘Friendship Cup’, a walking football tournament run by the City of Brimbank and City of Whittlesea and supported by CITC.
CITC delivers the ‘City Strikers’ walking football program; a revised version of the world game designed to address physical inactivity and social isolation in senior Victorians across Melbourne with the support of VicHealth. The average age of City Strikers participants is 67 years, with 68 per cent of participants born overseas. Around 50 senior men and women will participate in this event, helping to demonstrate the positive benefits for seniors, gaining physical and psychological benefits from participation.
On match day, the Club’s community department will hold a CITC Network event for 30 members from various community groups. The CITC Network brings together professionals and volunteers involved in community football programs that make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged youth, new arrivals, asylum seekers, long-term unemployed, people with disabilities and incarcerated youth for networking and professional development opportunities.
Dr Emma Sherry, who worked at La Trobe University Centre for Sport and Social Impact, and Joanne Rockwell from Bootsforall; a charity which aims to break down barriers to sport participation and strengthen communities by collecting and distributing quality, new and near-new sports equipment to vulnerable Australians, will lead the session.
The Club’s MiniRoos activity at half-time will centre around blind football and cerebral palsy participation, while CITC will be fundraising for the delivery of its programs through raffle tickets at City Square and through the sale of Santa Hats and Christmas T-Shirts, available for purchase at merchandise outlets.
Melbourne City players will wear Cityzens Giving shirts in the match warm up, while voting booths will be established on AAMI Park’s precinct.