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MPs & Celebrities Support Street League Tournament

Wed 23rd Jul 2014 | Football Governance

Two teams of MPs and celebrities came together to show their support for Street League in a mini football tournament in central London.

Comedian and rapper Doc Brown was joined by team-mates from Soccer AM, BT Sport and popular football website ‘The Football Ramble’ in the tournament which was sponsored by one of Street League’s supporters, national plant and equipment hirer Hewden, and also featured a team from the official All Parliamentary Football Club.

Street League, the national charity which uses the power of football to tackle youth unemployment across the UK, provided two teams made up of staff and Academy participants. One of them emerged victorious after defeating the celebrities 3-2 in the final.

Doc Brown said: “I always enjoy playing football. I miss my Sunday League games, so this was a perfect way to fill the hole.

“I have supported Street League since the moment I heard about it. For me, football is one of the ultimate levellers for young people. For young people in difficult situations, or where there is not a lot of light in their lives, football is a universal language. It is always a good distraction.”

Nigel Mansfield, Commercial Director at Street League, used a break in the tournament as an opportunity to speak to the assembled MPs about how they can support the charity’s aims in getting young unemployed people into work and training. He asked them to spread the word about Street League, both in Parliament and to employers in their constituencies who could offer work experience and placement opportunities to graduates from the Street League Academy.

The award-winning eight-week programme is being rolled out across the UK, with Street League now working in 13 regions across England and Scotland.

Clive Betts, captain of the Parliament team, is MP for Sheffield South East and he was delighted to find out that the charity plans to open in the city soon thanks to funding from BT Sport’s Supporters Club initiative.

He said: “We lost twice and probably lost count in the second game, but still we really enjoyed it and that’s what matters! It’s great to come and find out what Street League actually does, and to meet some of the people involved in it as well as some of the people who are actually being helped by it.

“I understand that very shortly Street League is going to be opening in Sheffield, and I look forward to meeting them there and talking to them about how we can help more of the young people of Sheffield.”

Sam Sears, 23, represented Street League in the tournament. He attended one of Street League’s seven London Academies earlier this year and is now working for Whitbread’s Premier Inn Hotels, who are supporting the charity by providing work placement and entry-level job opportunities to young people.

He said: “It was great to meet Doc and some of the other guys, and I was really impressed that the MPs came along to support Street League, who have been so helpful to me. I would recommend joining the Street League Academy programme to other young people who have been out of work.”

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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