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Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) & Aiglon Community: A Year of Inspiring Opportunities

Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) & Aiglon Community: A Year of Inspiring Opportunities
Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) & Aiglon Community: A Year of Inspiring Opportunities

It has been over 12 months since the collaboration with Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) and Aiglon was established, and what an exciting time it has been. 

To kick off the collaboration a delegation from MCFC and the football legend Joleon Lescott, who played football in the English Premier League, visited the campus. During a fireside chat event, with students and Aiglon community members, he shared his experience of becoming a professional football player, of racism and the other setbacks he encountered on his path to success.

A team of girls and boys represented the school at the Abu Dhabi Cup 2024 (UAE) and members of the alumni community and parents have stepped onto the grounds of the Etihad Stadium in Manchester and experienced a unique opportunity to step into the world of a high-performance footballer and the premises of an English Premier League club and current world champions, and we have welcomed Swiss international schools to compete in futsal competitions.

In early April, alumni, parents and summer school parents participated in the Manchester City Football Experience in Manchester City (UK). This 2-day was a once-in-a-lifetime experience with Manchester City Football Club (MCFC). The programme included a fine dining experience, private tour of the MCFC stadium and a Premier League football game.

In recent days, the campus had the privilege of welcoming the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup & FIFA World Club Cup trophies - students and staff remarked that this was a historical moment for the school and an inspiring experience. The local football club of Ollon could hardly believe their ears when they heard the trophies were also headed their way - football fans were excited to experience this momentous occasion with members of their families. Local officials and friends made the most of this unique opportunity. 

Over the weekend, a group of 17 Aiglon students Year 7 to Year 9 boys and staff headed for a training session at the City Football Academy in Manchester (UK), and they walked in the shoes of high-performance athletes during a private tour of the stadium. Two football matches were included in the weekend trip: a U23 match, MCFC vs West Bromwich Albion F.C., and a premier league game in the Etihad Stadium, where MCFC won versus Luton Town 5:1. For many students, this was their first experience of a live football match. One student remarked that this was the best school trip he had ever been on. 

All members of the Aiglon community have had the opportunity to engage and learn from this high-performance team. 

When the partnership was unveiled in March 2023, Danny Thomson, Deputy Head of Physical Education (PE) and Sport at Aiglon College, stated, “It’s a chance to create memories that will last a lifetime.”  

Our on campus MCFC coach, Gareth Whalley, and Mr Thomson and the PE & Sports Department, led by James Dyson, have curated a unique football programme for the school. 

“The programme - the only one of its kind in Europe - offers every Aiglonian the opportunity to get a world-class football education on campus, tailored to their specific needs and interests,” says Mr Dyson. “The curriculum caters to all different levels. For example, it starts with what we call Move to Play, which is the very basics for those who have maybe never kicked a ball before, and it goes all the way up to Play to Perform, aimed at more experienced players who understand the nuances of the game.”

It’s this truly holistic nature of the programme that sets it apart from anything on offer elsewhere, Mr Thomson thinks. “This is a football programme, but we want to develop people, first and foremost.”

The partnership offers unparalleled opportunities not just to current Aiglon students but also to staff, alumni, and the broader community. 

This summer, the Aiglon Summer School programme (June to July) will offer a programme where students can experience Aiglon’s football programme. Starting in June, the Kickoff programme will provide players (aged 10-15) with insights into Manchester City’s playing philosophy and methodology. Interactive off-field workshops will allow players to learn more about football education topics that help support player development and performance. For those seeking a holistic summer experience, students can combine the Aiglon College Summer School with the Manchester City Football School programme. “Through our unique football programme at Aiglon Summer School, we don't just teach skills; we cultivate character, teamwork, and resilience on and off the field,” stated Fiona Tweedie, Director of the Aiglon Summer School. “This is a unique opportunity to experience the unique alpine setting of our campus in Chesières and make friends from over 40 nationalities.” 

In parallel, a group of Aiglon students from Year 12 will participate in the City Football Leadership Institute ‘Next Gen’ programme. This is an immersive and innovative residential programme that brings teens into the world of Manchester City Football Club and the business of sport. This one-week leadership course at the Manchester City Academy includes entrepreneurial and leadership workshops, talks from leading industry experts, behind-the-scenes access, and more. 

The year will close with a training camp in New York City (USA) for Year 11-13 students. 

The team is working on the 2025 programme, so watch this space - there will be more opportunities for all members of the Aiglon community to learn and have a lot of fun through the MCFC partnership programme. 

 

 

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