Abu Dhabi: The Early Childhood Authority (ECA) at Abu Dhabi and Manchester City Football Schools UAE are entering into a partnership which will deliver the ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ program to primary school students between 4-8 year
The collaboration comes at a time when the world prepares itself to celebrate the Annual World Play Day on 28th of May 2022.
The initiative, currently in its pilot phase, is part of ECA’s World Early Childhood Development (WED) Movement. Launched in 2021, WED Movement is platform under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Crown Prince Court and Chairman of the ECA.
WED recognizes the importance of play in the cognitive and physical development of young children, and gathers global experts and innovators who have come together to develop effective strategies and programs to positively impact the development of young children, and further innovate in the early childhood sector in Abu Dhabi and beyond.
To date, approximately 900 students in 11 schools across Abu Dhabi have benefited from the WED ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ program for young primary school.
Based on the success of this pilot program, ECA and Manchester City Football Schools UAE will expand their partnership, aspiring to reach 2,000+ kids of ages between 4 – 8 years, in the next academic year.
Delivered by specially-trained Manchester City Football Schools coaches, the Healthy Lifestyle in-school program consists of two fun and interactive lessons; 1 Theory and 1 Practical. The lessons educate children the significance of being active, eating well and leading a healthy lifestyle, all key priorities of the WED Movement.
The ECA Abu Dhabi Director-General elaborated that, “In light of this, supporting the Healthy Lifestyle Program and working alongside Manchester City Football Schools UAE was a natural partnership. With a shared goal of ensuring the best opportunity for children to further their physical and cognitive development, we’re excited to see this roll-out and look forward to further helping parents and teachers hone their skills on how they can support play – in this case, through football.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Simon Hewitt, Senior Manager, Football Operations MENA – Football Education, City Football Services remarked that, “The Healthy Lifestyles program is very much part of our philosophy, and the power of football encourages children to make smart choices that can last a lifetime.”
“We started the Healthy Lifestyles program in the UAE five years ago, reaching thousands of young teens. We are delighted to have the opportunity to adapt the curriculum for a younger age group, and look forward to its continued delivery with the Early Childhood Authority, as part of its important WED movement,” Mr. Hewitt explained.