Image 1 Etihad and City Football Foundation programme in India-1711547849468
Manchester City and Etihad Airways have conducted various activities in India since 2016. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: In a move to create an impact for a better future of young people across India, Manchester City and Etihad Airways are creating a new community football initiative that will touchdown three cities across the country.

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The project will launch this April in three cities from the airline’s network: New Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru, with more locations to follow. This marks the latest in a series of impactful community collaborations between Manchester City and Etihad since the launch of the Official Partnership between the two organisations in 2009, including global and regional summits in Manchester and Abu Dhabi, which upskill young leaders in community football coaching and leadership.

The joint initiative will see Manchester City work in collaboration with Etihad Airways, Club charity City in the Community and non-governmental partner organisation (NGO) Magic Bus India Foundation, to deliver health and life skills training for local young people through football.

Power of football

To kick-start the impact, Etihad will fly coaches from City in the Community, the Club’s official charity, to India to deliver world-class football and leadership training to Young Leaders championing the projects. The trainees will then put their skills into practice, as part of their commitment to using football to uplift the health of young people in their cities.

Tom Pitchon, Director of City Football Group’s global foundation, said: “We are proud to work with Etihad Airways to uplift the health and life skills of young people across India through the power of football.

“Etihad are a long-standing supporter of our community football impact, and it’s great to have them on board, helping us create real impact for young people around the world.”

Etihad and City Football Foundation programme in India kids engagement-1711547846724
City Football Foundation and Etihad engaged 2,000 young people with health and hygiene education through football. Image Credit: Supplied

Lasting imact on young people

Akhil Anumolu, Senior Vice-President eCommerce, Digital, Marketing and Loyalty at Etihad Airways: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Etihad to work hand-in-hand with our partners at City Football Group to support the local community in India. Over the coming years, we’re committed to growing this programme across more locations in India, and we hope the unique power of football will have a lasting impact on the young people who take part and their wider community.”

The initiative will be delivered by local NGO Magic Bus India Foundation who have partnered with the club on various initiatives since 2016, including an Etihad supported programme in Kolkata, engaging 2,000 young people with health and hygiene education through football.

Jayant Rastogi, Global CEO, Magic Bus India Foundation, said: “Through the spirit of football, we are on a transformative journey with Manchester City, and Etihad Airways to enhance the life skills of young people across India. Together, we aim to create a lasting impact by empowering them through the universal language of ‘Sports for Development’. This initiative symbolises our shared commitment to fostering positive change and building a better future for the Young Leaders and communities we touch.”