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Football event brings community together

Date: 30/10/2008           Category: Young People

Football, reading and racism were just three areas tackled through a football tournament for young people. More than 70 young people, aged 12 to 19, took part in the event, organised by Medway Council’s youth service to coincide with Black History Month and National Year of Reading. Teams included representatives from Kent Police and Medway Library service. As part of the project, the young people were asked to design a poster for Black History Month, discuss the history of black football players and racism in the game. The DCSF’s Boys into Books scheme funded the tournament prizes. The books included autobiographies of black and British football players, which were a hit with the young people, who generally agreed, “young people don’t read any more”. Players enjoyed healthy snacks at half time, which provided the youth service with an opportunity to promote healthy eating. Medway area librarian Duncan Mead said: “It was a fantastic event and everyone that took part thoroughly enjoyed it. The Boys into Books funding has allowed us to hold an exciting event that promotes reading, keeping fit and celebrates Black History Month. We are looking forward to doing it all over again next year.” Positive feedback from the young people and their parents means the youth service is keen to repeat the success of this event again next year. Event organiser and Medway Council youth development worker Andrew Willetts said: “This event gave the young people an opportunity to have somewhere to go, someone to talk to and a positive activity. They had a great time doing something they love with a community of workers around them. The event will have positive effect in the area and on the young people. Relationships have developed and a good outcome for all involved was achieved.”