Football tournament in London Colney brings together capital’s impoverished youth
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A programme dedicated to mentoring young people from some of London’s most deprived estates and schools has seen pupils visit the district for a soccer tournament.
The sports event provided an opportunity for them to exhibit their skills against some local football teams.
On Thursday, April 16, pupils representing schools taking part in the Football Beyond Borders (FBB) programme travelled to Colney Heath for a small-sided soccer tournament.
Richard Smith, of Colney Heath Youth FC, said: “It was an honour for our club to be asked to host this event.
“There was something more than just football going on here. In our leafy Herts village we witnessed a St Mirren team from one of the poorest areas of the UK take on teams of boys who were recently considered the least-engaged in some of the most troubled schools in South London.
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“And it was all played in a spirit of sportsmanship, respect and a blossoming friendship.”
There were youth teams from Archbishop Lanfranc Academy in Croydon, Chestnut Grove Academy, Balham, St Mirren in the Community, Paisley, while representing this district were St Albans City, Harvesters and Colney Heath football clubs.
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The teams were split into U13 and U15-based groups.
After the entertaining games Jack Badu, head of coaching at FBB, said: “This was a fantastic showcase of the power of grassroots football.
“Colney Heath and the Lanfranc boys organised a hugely enjoyable event. We hope it will be the first of many.”
Jasper Kain, founder of the charity, added: “It was great to be able to give this opportunity to all these young people in a secure environment in which they felt privileged to be.
“It was a terrific event and everyone left with a smile on their face.”
The charity offers weekly extra-curricular homework and football coaching sessions to help students re-engage with their education.