Soc­cer girls to make West Hamde­buts

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE - BY SI­MON ROCKER

GIRLS FROM THREE Jewish pri­mary schools are set to play at West Ham’s Up­ton Park sta­dium on Mon­day at an in­ter­faith soc­cer tour­na­ment.

The Si­mon Marks, Il­ford Jewish Pri­mary and Clore Tikva pupils will be lin­ing up along­side Mus­lim, Chris­tian, Sikh and Hindu girls from East End schools.

The event is the ini­tia­tive of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Mus­lim Po­lice (NAMP) and the Board of Deputies­backed Shared Fu­tures project to link schools of dif­fer­ent faiths. The Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion is among its other sup­port­ers.

“It’s a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to come to­gether,” said the NAMP’s Dal Babu. “For the first time we’ll have a Pre­mier League ground.”

West Ham leg­end Sir Trevor Brook­ing will MC the tour­na­ment and other events in a day cel­e­brat­ing di­ver­sity in­cludes the ap­pear­ance of a celebrity XI fea­tur­ing old Eng­land stars Tony Wood­cock and Viv An­der­son.

“It is taken three years to come to this stage,” said Mr Babu, who is “pas­sion­ate about us­ing foot­ball as a link to de­velop so­cial co­he­sion.

“Orig­i­nally, the plan was to have a game that would bring Jewish and Mus­lim foot­ball play­ers to­gether. The event has be­come more sig­nif­i­cant than we planned.”

Alex Gold­berg, the Board’s com­mu­nity is­sues di­rec­tor, said that if Mon­day’s for­mat was suc­cess­ful, “we can ex­port it.

“We’re look­ing at work­ing with the FA and large clubs in Birm­ing­ham, Manch­ester and Leeds.”

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