Kick-starting the World Cup with Junior Football Tournament

Cleveland Police are kick-starting this year’s World Cup by partnering with Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation to host a debut junior World Cup five-a-side tournament.

1 The aim of the tournament is to bring young people from 15 primary schools across Cleveland together to celebrate the diversity of the World Cup, regardless of their age, gender, social background or economic status.

The tournament has been organised by School Liaison Officers PCSO’s Geoffrey Illingworth, Lindsey Blackburn and Eric Barrett. This morning, Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger and Middlesbrough Football Club drew the schools and the countries which will be assigned to them.

Speaking of the draw, Barry Coppinger said: “This tournament is a fantastic way to bring children from our communities together, to promote a healthier lifestyle and to get them involved in an exciting event to celebrate the World Cup.

“With the help and support of our partners, this is also a great way to tackle key issues with antisocial behaviour in our area and to break down barriers between young people and the police. I am looking forward to the tournament next month.”

A Middlesbrough Football Club spokesperson said: “This is a great initiative to bring together youngsters of different communities from our region in our very own World Cup here on Teesside.

“The World Cup is all about uniting people and bringing together different and diverse cultures – and we’re looking forward to celebrating that next month with the youngsters from our area.” 

The tournament, which occurs on Wednesday 11th July is sponsored by Southlands Leisure Centre in Middlesbrough, where it will also be held, and is also kindly supported by Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation, Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, Unison, Teesside & Cleveland Trophies and Morrisons.

Each team with be made up of five players plus two substitutes and the teams can be solely boys or girls or a mixture of both. Following the tournament, a presentation will be held to present medals and trophies.