NYCFC and Etihad Team Up to Empower Young Soccer Leaders

Young Leaders 2017

New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and Etihad Airways have joined forces to develop youth leaders around the world who are tackling social issues in their local communities by delivering youth-led soccer projects.

Returning for its third year, the Cityzens Giving Young Leaders Summit welcomed more than 50 young leaders from City Football Group’s global network of community projects to state-of-the-art training facility, City Football Academy, which is home of NYCFC sister Club, Manchester City FC. The week-long program saw leaders from 12 global cities take part in a variety of on and off-the-pitch workshops to develop and enhance their community soccer leadership and coaching skills.

WATCH: Young Leaders Summit wrap up video

As the Official Summit Partner, Etihad Airways connected the young people to their peers by flying them over to Manchester. For several delegates, this was their first experience of international travel.

16 returning leaders from New York City, Manchester, Melbourne, Cape Town, Kuala Lumpur, Barranquilla, Kolkata and São Paulo co-delivered the Summit to their peers and new leaders from projects in Beijing, Bandung (Indonesia), Mexico City and Abu Dhabi.

The 16-30 year old delegates from around the world have been delivering community soccer projects on an ongoing basis in their local communities. These projects address a range of issues affecting young people, including gang crime, substance abuse, HIV / AIDS and obesity as well as create safe spaces for children to play soccer.

In New York City, the young leaders deliver programs that use soccer to tackle social issues around health, education and crime prevention as part of the ‘City in the Community’ (CITC) charity. CITC programs serve more than 4,000 young people from across the boroughs each week.

Ebrahim Konteh, 19-year-old young leader from the Bronx, commented on his experience:

“The Young Leaders Summit amazed me and it opened up my eyes and mind to the world. I learned not only how to coach children, but also how to motivate them, treat them and keep them happy.

“I met 60 different amazing young leaders. I learned from them about different cultures and how they work with kids in their countries. I learned about their struggles and how they overcame those struggles using soccer.

“[What I learned at the Summit] is not only beneficial to me, but for my community as well. I will take the skills I learned back to help improve my New York community.”

Omar Berrada, Chief Operating Officer of NYCFC sister Club, Manchester City FC, continued:  

“We are extremely proud that our community footprint continues to grow and develop every year – both locally where City Football Group has Clubs in Manchester, New York City and Melbourne but also globally. This Summit epitomizes the power of football to change lives and we’re delighted to be working with Etihad Airways to connect the young leaders together.

“We’ve brought young leaders from different backgrounds, speaking a number of different languages and yet they all share a common goal – to make a difference through football. Using our community philosophy and years of experience, we are equipping the young leaders with the tools they need to go out and deliver life changing projects in their communities.”

Patrick Pierce, Vice President, Marketing Partnerships at Etihad Airways said:

“Etihad Airways has a duty to contribute to communities around the world. By flying delegates into Manchester for Cityzens Giving Young Leader Summit, we are honored to connect young people who seek to address complex social issues in their home cities. This is another powerful example of using the medium of football to lift young people out of trouble, into safety and on the path to a more stable and prosperous future.”

The week also saw leadership master classes from Club experts including members from City Football Group’s Leadership Team as well as more practical sessions on event and project management, safeguarding and monitoring and evaluation.

On the final day, leaders put all their newly found knowledge and experience into practice as they organized and delivered two highly successful soccer festivals for 240 local school children and Manchester City FC fans.

Visit for further details on its local and global community work.

NYCFC and Etihad Team Up to Empower Young Soccer Leaders -