IN4 Group’s gametech division has launched the Manchester Esports Academy (MEA), a first-of-its-kind, junior professional esports education and skills programme for young people in Greater Manchester from the ages of 8 to 16, giving them access to career opportunities in the multi-billion pound video game industry.
The academy was officially launched at HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology’s, state-of-the-art Gametech campus by Angela Rayner, Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne, Droylsden and Failsworth, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow First Secretary of State on Saturday 3rd June as part of the We Invented the Weekend festival in MediaCity and Salford Quays.
Across the festival weekend, families had free access to its unique Esports Extravaganza, which included taster sessions of the MEA syllabus such as professional coaching, careers education and health and nutrition. It also included casual play on cutting-edge games consoles and mini-tournaments with a professional esports team.
Established by IN4 and operating at HOST in MediaCity, the MEA will be available for parents through a monthly subscription, however, it will be fully subsidised for young people in Greater Manchester from disadvantaged backgrounds and those presently being supported by Children in Need.
The MEA aims to transfer passion and play into positive personal development for young people. It will educate parents on the career pathways in the fastest-growing entertainment sector in the world and illustrate how the skills developed in gameplay are so highly sought after by employers.
Media City is a world-leading creative digital cluster and with the MEA based there, it will ensure local young people have reason to access the campus and believe their futures belong there.
The MEA programme will be delivered by Esports Coaching Academy (ECA) certified coaches, which ensures the highest standards in coaching with a combination of personalised guidance and specialised training modules.
Mo Isap, CEO of IN4 Group, said: “The video game and esports industry is exploding on a global scale and we’re excited to support our young people in the region with the Manchester Esports Academy, in the heart of MediaCity. The career opportunities in esports are immense and we want young people in Greater Manchester to know that they too can be a part of this fast-growing, multi-billion pound industry.
“We believe young people from all backgrounds should have fair access to technology futures, and by supporting local young people to find their passion and harness it as fuel, they can achieve great things in their future careers.”
Abdiqani Ahmed, previously founder of one of the UK’s most successful professional esports teams, is now Head of Esports at IN4 Group and programme lead for the new Manchester Esports Academy.
He said: “Manchester Esports Academy offers a unique approach by blending professional coaching and soft skills development, with a focus on health and nutrition, the academy offers a holistic educational experience like no other and goes beyond traditional classroom-style training.
“Aspiring gamers and their parents can rest assured they will receive top-tier training, preparing them for exciting careers in the esports and video games sectors. With its three areas of focus, the Manchester Esports Academy sets the stage for success, fostering a vibrant community of passionate gamers ready to take on the world of esports.”
Parents and carers who want to learn more about the MEA can register their interest here.