For the second consecutive year, Melbourne City FC’s community outreach program has delivered leadership training for young Victorians through its global Young Leaders program, run by City Football Group.
Held between Tuesday to Friday at the City Football Academy in Melbourne, the program is designed to educate and empower young people to use football as a sustainable force for social good in their communities.
This year, over 70 participants received practical and theoretical training in purpose-build classrooms at the Academy and through on-pitch workshops, following their involvement in the Club’s City in the Community programs in 2017.
The week culminated in the delivery of three School Holiday Clinics for over 150 children in Bundoora, Fitzroy and Kensington on Friday, organised by the 70 program participants.
CEO Scott Munn hopes that this year’s program continues to inspire and develop young Victorians;
“This training program is all about developing participants into future leaders who can make meaningful impact in their own communities. Already we have seen the impact this program can have, with many participants going on to use their skills to obtain employment or simply grow in confidence and ability as individuals. Notably, we now have four Young Leaders, who were involved in the inaugural Australian training last January, employed in community and football roles for our Club. After seeing the talented and inspired group this week, I’m confident this trend will continue.”
Munn, alongside Melbourne City’s A-League and W-League players and Head Coaches Warren Joyce and Patrick Kisnorbo, contributed to the week with talks on inclusion, social cohesion, diversity and leadership.
The training is provided by Melbourne-based Young Leaders and is supported by a Manchester City FC community coach, with a focus on leadership and practical planning skills.
The Young Leaders program also continues Melbourne City’s involvement in I Speak Football; a Melbourne-based youth program that uses the global language of football to create a shared sense of unity and community amongst young people from different cultural backgrounds. Friday’s School Holiday programs are based around the I Speak Football format, with lessons encompassing the value of inclusion and respect, delivered alongside football activities.
Wilson Poni, 22, a Young Leader who helped design the I Speak Football program in 2015, recently received a High Commendation for the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) Youth Award for his work with the program. As well as improving the health and fitness of the participants, the I Speak Football program builds a culture of respect and team-work through the shared love of football.
“It is amazing to see the growth and impact of this program on many young people; I can’t believe how far the program has come. We’ve now had the opportunity to pass our learnings and skills to over 160 young people across the last two years, educating them on the importance of youth leadership in the Victorian community.
“To have been recognised for my work in this area has been truly humbling, but the real impact has been seeing these young people apply new knowledge and skills in their own community to make positive change.”
The Young Leaders training concept commenced in 2015 in England at Melbourne’s sister club, Manchester City FC. The program has since expanded to Australia, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Cape Coast, China and Indonesia.
The Young Leaders Program in Melbourne has been profiled at melbournecityfc.com.au – you can follow the journey of our Young Leaders on Twitter via #CityzensGiving.