Football in the Community!...
29th September, 2011
Some160 players made up 16 teams at Teesside University’s Middlesbrough campus for a seven-a-side football event on Saturday.
The play-off was organised by the Hope Foundation to coincide with Refugee Week 2011, which marks the 60th anniversary of the Refugee Convention.
Teams were made up of nationals from Nigeria, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Pakistan, Iran, Brazil and Sudan.
Nigerian Bryan Maduagwu, 22, who was playing in the Congolese team, said: “I think it’s good because many people are around from different countries and have come together to form a community.”
Iranian Ben Bayat, 50, captain of the Persian team, said: “It’s a wonderful event. Everybody from different nationalities has got together and are playing beautifully.”
Billingham’s Stephen Pickard, 24, was captain of the British team.
He said: “We are friends with everyone. It’s good for the community because football breaks down barriers.”
The event was organised with the Middlesbrough BME Network and Cleveland Police. Sara Mirsalehi, integration and education officer for the Hope Foundation, said: “I think it will bring people from different communities together.”
PC Jeff Lillystone added: “This is community engagement in action.”