Young people from Croydon Community Football League are celebrating its successful second birthday with special mini tournaments at Selhurst Sports Arena on Tuesday 24 February and Thursday 26 February.
The league brings together young people from all over the borough to enjoy ‘the beautiful game’ and to get support from a range of different services.
The seven-a-side contest will see approximately 140 young people over the two sessions play against each other and practise the skills they have developed in a safe, supported and fun environment.
The action kicks off on Tuesday, from 5-8pm (for ages 11-16) and Thursday 6-9pm (for ages 16-24).
The joint project was set up two years ago by Croydon Landlord Services, the council’s Street Based Youth Team and Surrey FA.
The league now has 10 teams, and attracts players from Addiscombe, Broad Green, Fieldway, New Addington, Waddon, South Norwood and Thornton Heath, with up to 140 taking part each week
Crystal Palace Football Club Foundation, along with Surrey FA, offers coaches and professional referees at each session.
Foundation head Donald Forde, said: “The CPFC Foundation has provided courses for young people to achieve their FA Level One Award. We also promote the Aspire to Engage employability programme and boxing courses to support young people further.”
David Sutherland, managing director of Croydon Landlord Services, said: “The popularity of the project has been used to encourage young people, many of whom do not readily engage with services, to learn about apprenticeships and employment possibilities – not to mention the direct health benefits.”
The programme offers competitive football for young people aged between 16 and 24, who come together to engage positively and progressively with each other through sport – an opportunity they may not otherwise have had.
Croydon Landlord Services also has a well-received and busy programme of sport provision which caters for young people up to the age of 16.