Football tournament seeks to heal West Croydon wounds

Healing The Streets – London Road, a five-a-side football tournament, will take place on Canterbury Road Recreation Ground, near Broad Green Library, tomorrow, August 8, from 2.45pm, with 16 teams from local businesses, residents and public organisations to play.

But this is a case where the game is not the thing.

The idea for Healing The Streets came from members of the new London Road Business Association, which was set up following the riots last year. Valentine Atsu, Charles Osei, Nick Owusu and Julie Agbowu wanted to organise activities and an event which would help bring people together and create a better, more optimistic environment among the people of West Croydon.

“We didn’t want to dwell on the date in a negative way,” said Val Atsu, of Joseph Media. “You can’t ignore the fact that it’s the anniversary of the riots, but we felt that it’s important to do something positive to bring people together. Playing football is a great way of doing that.”

The tournament is supported by Crystal Palace Foundation, who will be officiating the event. The referees for the tournament are local volunteers who have recently completed a programme of training with Crystal Palace. David Groves, Chair of Trustees at Crystal Palace Foundation, said “This is a great event for Crystal Palace Foundation to get involved in and just the sort of thing which we hope to be doing more of. We welcome the opportunity to help strengthen the community in West Croydon.”

The event is also being supported by the West Croydon Community Forum and by Croydon Council’s recovery fund.

The winners will be invited to a special presentation at a Crystal Palace home game at Selhurst Park during the coming season.

Spectators are welcome at the tournament free of charge – just turn up, or contact Val Atsu, email: / tel: 020 8253 1264, to find out more.

For more information about the London Road Business Association and how to join, contact Ganapathy (email: or Julie Agbowu (email: For more information about the West Croydon Community Forum, contact Bhupendra Solanki at Croydon Voluntary Action (email:

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