28 Nov 2013 09:30

Etihad Airways and equity alliance partner, Jet Airways, will be bringing Manchester City FC football coaching clinics to India from 1 to 8 December.  

The football clinics, a grassroots program for young children, aim to improve technical football skills and will include coaching on positioning, dribbling, passing and shooting the ball. They are conducted in a fun atmosphere with much emphasis placed on teamwork and interacting with the coaches to benefit from their vast knowledge.

This is the first joint initiative to be undertaken since the transaction for the purchase of 24 per cent of Jet Airways by Etihad Airways was concluded on November 20, 2013. 

Etihad Airways is the main partner and shirt sponsor of Manchester City FC and has hosted several football clinics in Abu Dhabi as well as in China, Seychelles and Nigeria. This is Etihad Airways’ first coaching initiative to be held in India aiming to promote sport among the Indian youth.

A coaching team headed by Manchester City’s Community Ambassador Alex Williams MBE, an ex-professional goalkeeper with the club, will visit Mumbai and Delhi to lead 11 training sessions for up to 1,000 children.

The airlines have also teamed up with Magic Bus, a non-governmental organization that uses sports-based activities to create positive social change and improve the lives of youth in marginalised areas of India.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer said; “Etihad Airways has a proud tradition of hosting grass roots sporting events globally and we are very excited to be bringing our Manchester City FC football clinics to India to celebrate the completion of our partnership with our equity partner Jet Airways.

“We are also pleased to support Magic Bus and believe this is an excellent opportunity to promote football in the community and offer children the opportunity to receive training from some of Europe’s top coaches.”

Matthew Spacie, founder of Magic Bus said: “We are extremely grateful to Etihad Airways and Jet Airways for inviting our children to participate in the Etihad Airways Manchester City Football Clinics. Besides mentoring, we also follow a sports-based curriculum to engage the children and ensure that they make the right choices from childhood, all the way through to better livelihoods as adults. We are sure this training will be very beneficial and our children will learn a lot of skills. It will indeed be a memorable experience.”

Gaurang Shetty, Senior VP, Commercial, Jet Airways said: “Participation in sport has emerged as a major factor in the all-round development of any child. Thus, we are truly pleased to partner Etihad Airways and the Magic Bus in bringing the nuances of the beautiful game to our youth in India. We not only want our youth to learn from the very best that the legendary Manchester City Football Club has to offer, but also have fun, grow in confidence and learn teamwork and responsibility through these grassroots football clinics at Mumbai and New Delhi. We recognise our responsibility to society and stand committed to creating more such opportunities for the development of Indian youth by way of the programs we conduct.”

The week-long activities will kick off in Mumbai with mall promotions at High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel followed by a four-day coaching program in Mumbai. The team will then travel to Delhi where they will deliver a similar grassroots coaching program and conclude with a major promotion at the DLF Emporio Mall, Vasant Kunj.

On social media, a competition across Etihad Airways and Jet Airways Facebook pages will offer Manchester City FC fans the chance to win exciting prizes and branded merchandise.

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