Football event gives a kick to community spirit

Community spirit was alive and kicking last Friday as young people and adults took part in a Community Games football tournament staged at the BRIT School.

Some of the players and volunteer organisers from last Friday's charity football tournament at BRIT School

Some of the players and volunteer organisers, plus a couple of obvious ringers, from last Friday’s charity football tournament at BRIT School

One wag asked, with the event entitled “Leaders of Tomorrow”, what a Conservative MP, Gavin Barwell, and Tory councillor Simon Hoar were doing there.

In total, there were 14 5-a-side teams participating, with players from local businesses, youth groups and Croydon Council. A team from Sainsbury’s won the adults’ tournament, “Rejects FC” (a team from Crystal Palace FC Foundation’s Break Barriers project) won the under-18s and Shrub Town – a local youth team, won under-16s.

The event was organised by four young, local volunteers, Sammy-Jo Bentley, Tara Norwood, Clint Muldoon and George Henry, supported by South London YMCA, Crystal Palace FC Foundation and Lives Not Knives.

“It was fantastic to have so many young people here today, representing Croydon, in a positive light,” Henry said.

“We are so proud and pleased that tournament has been so successful and really grateful for all the support we have received to make this possible from South London YMCA, Lives Not Knives and Crystal Palace FC Foundation,” said Bentley.

The winning teams and volunteers will be attending the Crystal Palace v Hull City match next Tuesday, when they will be presented with their trophies in front of the Selhurst Park fans.

  • South London YMCA provides more than 450 homes for vulnerable people, as well as providing work and learning opportunities within the community of Croydon.
  • Crystal Palace FC Foundation delivers a comprehensive and diverse sports and educational programme throughout Croydon.
  • Charity Lives Not Knives is dedicated to showing young people they have other options than gang affiliation, working to stop children before they get caught up in gang life; and helping to get gang members get out before it’s too late.
  • Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon – 142,300 unique page views, Nov 2012-Jan 2013
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