Leyton Orient Trust hosted a football tournament for 170 young people in East London on Friday 22 February 2019. The event took place at the SCORE Centre, next to The Breyer Group Stadium, home of Leyton Orient Football Club. Male and female players from across North, South, East and West London, including teams representing Luton Town FC Foundation were invited to take part. The tournament for 15-18 year olds was part of The Premier League Kicks programme, the flagship community programme that engages with young people through football.
The day started with a motivational talk at The Breyer Group Stadium, by comedian, Mr Cee, who spoke to the young people about their futures; encouraging them to think about what they aspire to be, daring them to dream big and believe in themselves.
This was followed by two 5-a-side football tournaments; the girls tournament was won by Arsenal Foundation and the boys tournament was won by Leyton Orient Trust.
Hafiz Haque, Lead Development Coach, Leyton Orient Trust, said: “We saw a fantastic turn out today - over 170 boys and girls came together from all walks of life and every corner of London, and beyond! For some, this was a reward; for others it was a reason to stay off the streets; and for the majority it was just an opportunity to enjoy playing football in a safe environment.”
“Events like this highlight just some of the positive stories that are taking place in every community with young people at the heart. Players and coaches spending their time in half-term to come together and enjoy their joint passion of football.”
Kylie, Luton Town Foundation, Girls Team Player, said: “It feels great to be part of a bigger tournament. I love sport in general, for me it’s a break - I can get away from any problems I have, and I can just put my mind aside and just focus on the football and not think about anything else but the game.”
Vicky Farleigh, Social Inclusion Officer, Luton Town FC Foundation, said: “Today we’ve brought with us a girls team, a team of asylum seekers, and a team of young lads from one of the local estates that is heavily involved in gangs and knife and gun crime.”
“Tournaments like this are important for inclusion – giving young people the opportunity to do something that they may not necessarily have the money or the opportunity to do. But also just to come and have fun with their friends in a safe environment.”
Darren Wiltshire, Head of Football and Futsal Programme, Harringey Sixth Form College
“I use this project to motivate the boys, playing in tournaments like this is a reward for them for having a high attendance in college. And it works, within our futsal Club we have 93 per cent attendance for the Sixth Form College, this has increased by 17 per cent over the last 12 months.”
“We don’t always select our best players, so we have to explain that to the players why we’re not going out and out just to win. But hopefully as a college we’re having a bigger impact than just winning today, with the longer term aim of them going to University and getting jobs.”
For more information, please contact Louise Stephens, Head of PR, Marketing and Communications, Leyton Orient Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org
Teams represented included:
- Leyton Orient Trust
- Arsenal FC Foundation
- Millwall FC Foundation
- West Ham Foundation
- Charlton Athletic
- Hackney Wick FC
- Luton Town Foundation
- Elite London Academy
- Bridge Academy
- Haringey Sixth Form
- Pick Up Academy
- Rouge Ballers
- New Vic
About Leyton Orient Trust
Leyton Orient Trust is a pioneering charity using the power of sport to improve life chances. Working together with Leyton Orient Football Club and other partners, it delivers and develops health, wellbeing, educational attainment and life skills programmes within the local communities of Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Redbridge.
About Premier League Kicks
Premier League Kicks is the Premier League’s flagship programme Premier League Kicks is one of the Premier League's flagship community programmes.
PL Kicks started in 2006 and has a long history of using the power of football and the value of sports participation to help hard-to-reach youngsters in some of the most high-need areas.
By engaging youngsters in constructive activities, including a wide variety of sports, coaching, music and educational and personal development sessions, communities up and down the country have been transformed with impressive sports participation rates and the authorities reporting significant reductions in anti-social behaviour in the areas in which it is delivered.
PL Kicks objectives:
- To promote participation in sport in areas of high need
- To provide opportunities for young people to develop skills and confidence
- To support young people to progress into positive pathways
About Mr Cee
Voted Best Male Newcomer at the Black Entertainment Comedy Awards in 2000, Mr Cee is now a regular on both the Jongleurs and comedy circuits. He is currently a support act for Channel 4’s ‘The Big Narstie Show’.