Gametech, a division of Manchester-based technology group IN4 Group, has launched the Manchester Esports Academy.
The academy will provide an esports education and skills programme for Greater Manchester youth aged between eight and 16.
The Manchester Esports Academy launched as part of the ‘We Invented the Weekend’ festival at Salford’s MediaCity. The launch also featured Angela Rayner, MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, Droylsden and Failsworth, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow First Secretary of State.
Attendees were able to take part in taster sessions of the syllabus which includes coaching, careers education, and health and nutrition.
Access to the Manchester Esports Academy will be available through monthly subscriptions. For young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and those being supported by the Children in Need charity, the academy will subside the cost.
The Academy aims to build ‘positive personal development’ for those participating in the programme. In addition to supporting the growth of young people, it will educate parents on numerous career pathways available through the esports industry.
Abdiqani Ahmed, who is the founder of UK esports organisation Lionscreed and the new Programme Lead of the Manchester Esports Academy, commented: “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.
While esports academies are still a fairly new concept in the UK, various initiatives are already active within the United States. In February 2023, North American organisation Ghost Gaming partnered with youth esports league XP League to encourage youth development across the south-east of the country.
Mo Isap, CEO of IN4 Group, also spoke on the launch of the Manchester Esports Academy: “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.
“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.”