Manchester City stars Willy Caballero and Dedryck Boyata have swapped the football pitch for the classroom to raise awareness about the dangers of gang culture to children.
The project City Streets, setup by City in the Community, aims to use football as a means of engaging with young people to talk about the problems and negative effects of gang culture.
And prior to the game against Arsenal at the weekend, the duo visited ten Year 9 pupils from The East Manchester Academy and took part in various workshop exercises.
Belgium defender Boyata, who has played 11 times for the Citizens since becoming part of the senior squad in 2009, was impressed by what he saw.
“It was an eye-opening afternoon,” he said.
“The workshop was good fun but there is a serious message behind it; it teaches the young people an important lesson.
“It’s great that the club are providing this opportunity for local kids and it’ll hopefully leave a lasting impression so that they can choose the right path.”
— CityintheCommunity (@citctweets) September 15, 2014
The session, run in partnership with the Integrated Gang Management Unit, saw players and participants introduced to two Street Doctors – who taught the group to deliver emergency first aid using only the clothes on their backs.
Mike Green, Head of City in the Community, commented on the importance of City Streets to the Manchester community:
“We’ve absolutely loved having the players here today to support the project.
“Last year, City Streets reached out to over 150 young people and as a club that focuses on making a positive impact to the local community, this project is very important to us.”
The scheme will be delivered over a five week period and will work with people at risk of influence from gang culture in Manchester.
It’s delivered through engaging booklets and workshops that covers knife and gun crime, drugs and alcohol, poor sexual health and prison life.
Image courtesy of MCFCtv via YouTube, with thanks.