City Football Group Brings Together Record Number of Young Leaders at Annual Global Young Leaders Summit


City Football Group, alongside principal partner Etihad Airways, recently hosted its seventh global Young Leaders Summit.

For the second consecutive year, the Summit – which is traditionally held in Manchester and sees Young Leaders from the Club’s global Cityzens Giving projects fly to the Etihad Campus for a week of interactive learning, football workshops and networking sessions – took place digitally with over 500 Young Leaders joining remotely from around the world.

Supported by Cisco, the Club’s Official Technology Partner, the digital Summit used Webex by Cisco to enable all Young Leaders to connect remotely, share knowledge on how to uplift young people through football and engage in fun collaboration.

Opened by an address from City Football Group CEO, Ferran Soriano, the event featured educational discussions led by City in the Community coaches around key topics such as how to use football to as a tool to promote mental health, female empowerment, mentorship, and behavior change, as well as peer-voted Young Leader awards, quizzes, and interactive tasks.

Young Leaders, including those based locally in New York City, also had a chance to share the latest reflections and learnings from a very challenging year and explore fresh ideas and innovations in community football.

Introduced for the first time this year, ten young leaders also received Young Leaders Awards as part of the Summit. Voted for by their peers, the categories included The Yecid Bolaño Award for Inspiring Young People, Outstanding Leadership, Community Coaching, Team Player and Outstanding Adaptability. For more info on all of the award winners visit:

The summit also welcomed a number of inspirational speakers to the Summit including Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Senior Vice President Social Responsibility for Viacom CBS Networks International Georgia Arnold, three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ilwad Elman, founder and CEO of the Aim Sky High Company Christina Taylor. Former Manchester City goalkeeper and City in the Community Ambassador Alex Williams MBE also joined the Summit, alongside model, CEO and Founder of the Malaika Charity in DRC Noella Coursaris Musunka. Each speaker shared their leadership journeys and how their experiences shaped them, before answering questions from Young Leaders about the importance of resilience, perseverance and how to make a positive impact.

Cityzens Giving supports youth-led community football projects in across 25 global cities including New York City, Manchester, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Sao Paolo, Mumbai, Bangalore, Cape Coast and Cape Town. Manchester City partners Etihad Airways, Cisco, Xylem, and Nexen Tire support projects in many of these cities by sharing expertise, products, and resources with young leaders.

Maxine, a young leader in Kuala Lumpur said: “Connecting with other Young Leaders around the world is so inspiring. Participating in the Young Leaders Summit helps us to expand our network and collaborate with like-minded people who are passionate about giving back. This week I’ve learned the importance of adaptability, perseverance and patience. I’m really excited to share and use the knowledge I have absorbed from the Summit to continue making a positive impact in my project here in Kuala Lumpur.”

Roel de Vries, City Football Group’s Group Chief Operating Officer, said: “As we continue to navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic, I am delighted that we have been able to bring our Young Leaders together digitally for a second year. The Summit provides an important platform for Young Leaders to learn, reflect and celebrate the amazing work they are doing in their communities using the power of football to make an impact and generate change.

“Despite the difficulties and challenges affecting us all over the last 12 months, we have witnessed true resilience and hard work from across our business and our communities that has enabled us all to adapt, perform and continue to make a difference across the world.

“I’d like to thank all the Young Leaders for their amazing efforts over the last year and I look forward to seeing how they apply the skills and knowledge they have learned over the past week to continue to empower their communities.”

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group: “The Young Leaders Summit is a truly inspiring initiative. The challenges of the past year have shown us the value of great leadership and the impact they have on the people, communities and the world around them. Developing our young leaders in communities around the world is time well spent and this summit is an invaluable contribution. Great leaders make great things happen and I’m confident the Young Leaders attending this summit will continue to make an incredible impact too.”

To learn more about City in the Community’s Young Leaders program here in New York, visit

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