Melbourne City FC reveal the return of its annual football charity initiative.
- Fans asked to allocate hundreds of thousands of dollars to community projects
Melbourne City FC has announced the return of a global charitable initiative, which sees young leaders in cities around the world deliver football inspired projects to young people as a sustainable force for social good.
The $850,000 (AUD) commitment to this year’s Cityzens Giving campaign marks the second year of the charitable program and takes the total funding commitment in 2015 and 2016, by City Football Group and its partners, to $2.1million (AUD), funding nine community football projects worldwide.
This year fans of all City Football Group’s family of Clubs – including Manchester City FC, New York City FC and Melbourne City FC – have been asked to decide how projects are funded by voting for the cause that inspires them the most. The more votes a project gets, the more funding it will receive.
Cityzens Giving funds projects run by young leaders in Manchester, New York, Melbourne, Kolkata, Cape Coast and São Paulo, along with projects from last year’s campaign in Kuala Lumpur, Cape Town and Barranquilla. These projects have been created to tackle issues like unemployment, social inclusion and HIV / AIDS.
The six projects selected for this year, each of which will be guaranteed enough funding to ensure they can run, will help at least 4,000 young people. They are:
Melbourne: Returning to the campaign for its second year, I Speak Football will use football to connect 300 isolated young people and support them to make friends, build leadership skills and reduce loneliness.
Manchester: Back for its second year, Boots & Beats will continue to use football and music to engage with 500 unemployed young people and connect them with job related training and volunteering opportunities.
New York: Combining football with education about health and nutrition, for the second year, City in the Community Soccer Program will support 500 young people to improve their fitness and live healthier lives.
Cape Coast: Kicking for Change will act as a catalyst to get 500 able bodied and disabled young people back into education, giving them a brighter future.
São Paulo: Goal for Equality will empower female leaders to inspire 350 young people through mixed football leagues and education on gender issues.
Kolkata: Healthy Goals mixes football with potentially life-saving education on health and hygiene, so that 2,000 young people have the power to stay safe and healthy.
City Football Group will also continue to fund projects in Cape Town, Barranquilla and Kuala Lumpur.
City CEO Ferran Soriano said: “Manchester City’s community commitment dates back to the founding of the Club over 130 years ago. Today, all City Football Group Clubs have strong community football programs in place.
“We are excited to be putting our fans at the heart of this for the second year running, by letting them decide how we fund inspiring community football programs locally and worldwide”.
Melbourne City captain, Patrick Kisnorbo, has been at the heart of the Club’s community programs over the past three years. He said: “We pride ourselves on our work in the community and it is inspiring to see the work of those within the Cityzens Giving program and what they have achieved through I Speak Football in Melbourne.
“Cityzens Giving and our broader community programs help connect us with the communities to which we belong and hopefully we inspire those involved.”
I Speak Football Young Leader, Albert Manbo, said: "Our project has been going well and 100 kids have come to the ‘I Speak Football’ weekly sessions.
"Now we have the ‘I SPEAK FOOTBALL CUP’ coming up in November, which is the perfect opportunity to transfer the skills that we learned from the program so far.”
Melbourne City FC’s community program - City in the Community (CITC) - is designed to forge closer links between the football club and the local Victorian community, with social responsibility an essential part of the fabric of Melbourne City. The Club works to resolve issues and bring about a sense of hope and aspiration through its community programs.
For more information on the campaign and how City fans are getting involved, visit http://www.cityzensgiving.org/page/content/melbourne