Football unites children in Sheffield suburb

Inspector Chris Lewis
Inspector Chris Lewis
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Children from different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds played in a football tournament aimed at integrating a Sheffield community.

Around 100 youngsters took part in the event in Page Hall, which was organised as part of a programme of activities the suburb, which is blighted by integration issues.

A huge influx of Roma Slovak residents has created tension in the community with longer standing residents upset at the pressure the new arrivals have put on services including schools and GP surgeries.

There is also concern at the Roma Slovak culture of large groups congregating on the streets.

Inspector Chris Lewis, of South Yorkshire Police - one of the partners involved in organising the football tournament as part of the SportFX project, - said: “Over the last six months, we have seen a real difference in the area, however there is still work to be done to encourage a greater degree of participation in integration from the communities.

“The SportFX football tournament was an excellent opportunity to allow young people of diverse ethnicities and varied backgrounds to meet up and begin to understand and accept the cultural differences between one another, but how these differences do not affect their mutual love and appreciation of the great game of football.”

“The work of SportFX in the Page Hall area is having great results.

“Page Hall is not a huge neighbourhood, but we still face a considerable challenge because of the difference in cultures.

“Our aim is to break down these barriers and by working with partners and providing opportunities for people to socialise, we able to offer this to the communities.”