MANCHESTER, England, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- English Premier League soccer club Manchester City FC (MCFC) has announced a partnership with New York City-based Downtown United Soccer Club (DUSC) and Gotham Girls Football Club (GGFC).
As part of this new partnership, Manchester City's award winning Community scheme, City in the Community (CITC) will work closely with DUSC to expand the City Soccer Initiative (CSI), DUSC's inner-city outreach program. This agreement is the first of a series of community initiatives to be announced by the club for delivery during MCFC's upcoming US tour and beyond.
Every week, more than 3,000 inner-city children participate in the CSI program, which uses soccer to teach critical life skills, tackle childhood obesity and help improve the quality of life in underserved communities.
As well as enabling significant expansion and development of CSI's existing programs, Manchester City will grant ten scholarships per annum throughout the term of the agreement to allow underprivileged New York inner-city youngsters to join the DUSC and GGFC Youth Soccer programs.
The partnership between Manchester City, DUSC and GGFC will provide the 1,500 plus travel and recreational players of the New York based clubs with support for their child- centered approach to teaching and competition in soccer.
The EPL club will also share its coaching expertise through direct training sessions with coaches and players, exchange programs in England, and a series of camps in New York City. The first MCFC camp will be held the week of July 19 on Randall's Island, led by Alex Gibson, former head coach of MCFC's prestigious youth academy, which has produced more first team graduates than any other English Premier League soccer academy.
Commenting on the partnership, Gustavo Palomino, the Director of Coaching for DUSC and GGFC, said:
"This is a very exciting opportunity for DUSC and GGFC to work with such a prestigious partner. It will be a privilege for our clubs, our coaches and, most importantly, our players to work with Manchester City and will allow us to implement a fully integrated player development structure, from youth right through to professional level. I believe this is an important step for both our clubs and for US soccer."
Assistant Coaching Director for Gotham Girls, Courtney Carroll, said:
"Gotham Girls FC is dedicated to providing opportunities for female players in the New York Metropolitan area to have a first class soccer experience that exposes them to the global game. Our partnership with Manchester City, and more specifically the ladies' team, MCLFC, will help us to elevate the women's game in NY and develop the girls to reach their full potential, both as players and as people."
Paul Jeffries, Director of City Soccer Initiative, said:
"The skill, energy and dedication that Manchester City has put into its award winning City in the Community programme is something that we have long admired. We are very excited to be able to utilise City's expertise to the benefit of thousands of New York's inner city children via our City Soccer Initiative."
Sarah Lynch, Managing Director of City in the Community, said:
"We searched long and hard to ensure that we found the very best partner for our ongoing community legacy in New York and believe we have achieved that goal in our agreement with DUSC and CSI. We look forward to a very successful and mutually beneficial relationship over the coming months and years."
Manchester City is playing in the New York challenge as part of their pre-season summer tour of the US, playing Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon on Friday 23rd July and the New York Red Bulls on Sunday 25th July. For tickets and further information, please visit www.newyorkredbulls.com/tickets/new-york-football-challenge.
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About Manchester City FC (www.mcfc.co.uk)
Informally known as "The Blues" or "The Citizens," Manchester City FC is an English Premier League side, founded in 1880. It counts the European Cup Winners' Cup, two League Championship titles, and four FA Cups amongst its honors. The team plays at the City of Manchester Stadium, a spectacular 47,715-seat stadium which the Blues made their home following the successful Commonwealth Games in 2003. Manchester City Football Club was taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in August 2008.
MCFC's City in the Community program was founded in 1986 and will celebrate its 25th anniversary next summer.
City in the Community works constantly at the heart of local communities to improve lives and give people chances that they would otherwise not be afforded.
The scheme works with over 200,000 people throughout the Greater Manchester region and abroad every year delivering a range of programmes based on the four key pillars of Football and Sport: Development, Health and Activity, Skills and Enterprise, and Social Inclusion.
CITC has won numerous awards for its community programs, including:
2001: Alex Williams, Executive Manager of CITC, awarded the MBE for his work in the community
2007: North West Business in the Community Awards – BUPA Healthy Community Award supported by the Department of Health
2007-2009: Community Club of the Year – North West Football Awards
2008-2009: Five Kickz awards, including Club of the Year and Coach of the Year
Kickz is a national social inclusion program designed to improve the lives of young people through the power of football.
About Downtown United Soccer Club (www.dusc.net)
Since 1982, Downtown United Soccer Club has been organizing premier Travel and Recreational soccer, with clinics and academies for boys and girls ages 3-19. DUSC's inclusive program has a simple idea: teach a younger player the skills that he or she will need, play them in a supportive team structure, make sure the emphasis is on fun and you will grow strong, cohesive and competitive teams.
City Soccer Initiative brings DUSC's philosophy to the inner city with thriving programs in public schools in New York's Chinatown, Hells Kitchen and Harlem. CSI is currently supporting 3,000 children per week and plans to greatly expand with the support of MCFC.
About Gotham Girls Football Club (www.ggfc.org)
Gotham Girls FC is the only soccer club in the New York City area whose sole focus is the development of female players. The Club's top flight, professional coaching staff has a uniquely positive, child-centered approach to teaching and competition, with the goals of instilling a love for the beautiful game, and helping girls reach their full potential as players and people.
SOURCE Manchester City FC