Joining the Special Olympics 50th anniversary celebrations in Chicago, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and English premier league champions Manchester City, highlighted Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, looking ahead to the event and promoting the values of inclusion and unity that are at the heart of the Special Olympics movement.
Etihad Airways, Manchester City's main club partner since 2009, replacted its branding on the team's shirts with the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 logo for their match against Borussia Dortmund in Chicago for the International Champions Cup. The move comes as part of Etihad Airways' efforts to raise awareness about the Special Olympics World Games, as the event's Official Airline Partner.
In the lead up to the cup game, Manchester City hosted a community soccer festival in Chicago’s Haas Park where aspiring local soccer players got to be trained by City players and coaches. Players from City’s first team, including new signing Riyad Mahrez, attended the festival alongside Club ambassador Mike Summerbee and former player Paul Dickoy.
Members of the UAE Special Olympics team, in Chicago for the 50th anniversary celebrations, visited the festival to meet and train with local community member and members of City supporters’ clubs.
The festival took place at soccer facilities at Haas Park Soccer Field that was originally gifted by the United Arab Emirates Embassy, in conjunction with Manchester City, in October 2012 and where hundreds of local children have benefited from soccer and education sessions.
The festival builds on Manchester City’s global community work in 18 cities around the world through the Cityzens Giving programme – empowering young leaders to use soccer to tackle important social issues in their communities.