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Street League/Street Striker at PlayBall

Street League/Street Striker at PlayBall

11 December 2012

Street League

Last Friday teams from Belfast Street League and North West Street league competed in a football tournament with a difference at PlayBall, Stormont. The teams competed in the football tournament but were also given the unique opportunity to test their football skills on the PlayBall Street Striker course.


Supported from East Belfast Mission and the Irish Football Association, and funded through UEFA Respect, EU Peace III and Comic Relief, Street League runs every Friday in Belfast and Derry-Londonderry for marginalised groups such as homeless, long term unemployed and refugee and asylum seekers. Belfast Street League has been going from strength to strength since it began in January 2010, and its success has led to the league being replicated in Derry-Londonderry by Football For All Development Officer, Based in the North West, Sarah Key.


Friday gave the teams the opportunity to compete against each other in a head to head tournament, and finished with a top of the table tournament decider between West and Poleglass - with West being crowned Street League Tournament champions.


The players relished the challenge of the PlayBall Street Striker course, where they no longer played as a team but had to compete in an all-out individual test of their skills. Throughout the Street Striker circuit they had to freestyle, hit specific targets, demolish stacks of crates and show off their striking ability as they attempted to strike footballs through a tyre. The top five took place in a final with the level of skills and agility very high. Curtis Harmin from Cloverhill was the overall winner, in what was a very tightly contested and exciting final.


Maria Wilson, Volunteer Development and Policy Officer at the Irish Football Association praised the event "the day provided the opportunity for the two leagues to come together, helping build relationships and friendships, which will be important as players from both leagues will be hoping to be selected to represent the first NI Street League team at the Homeless World Cup in Poland 2013"


Paul Shaw, Sports Development Officer at PlayBall enthused "The team at PlayBall are extremely excited about the upcoming Street Striker programme and the impact it will have on the local community. It's great that the concept is going from strength to strength and the Street League event is a perfect example of how Street Striker can add real value to existing initiatives. Planning for Street Striker 2013 is already underway and we hope to expand and develop the programme to include all communities in Greater Belfast. The Street League participants really enjoyed the Street Striker course on Friday and it was visible that it boosted their confidence and self esteem. We very much hope to welcome them back to PlayBall for Street Striker 2013."

For more information on Street League contact Maria Wilson mwilson@irishfa.com for more info on PlayBall or Street Striker contact Paul Shaw 028 9076 5770 or email paul.shaw@nicssa.co.uk.

 
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