It was part of MOPAC - a football-based youth mentoring programme funded by the Premier League and Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, targeting 12-18 year olds identified as being involved or at risk of becoming involved in crime. The initiative is delivered by London-based clubs, using football to steer youths away from crime and violence.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has supported over 360 young people through its MOPAC programme since the 2014-15 season, with young people also representing clubs including West Ham United, Leyton Orient, Crystal Palace, Arsenal, QPR, Millwall and Fulham taking part in the tournament.
Participants have access to one-to-one mentoring support from the Foundation and are signposted onto education and employment pathways within the local community. Of the 360 participants the Foundation has engaged, 75% have gone on to secure further education, training or employment opportunities.
Shannon Soobrayeni, a participant from the Foundation’s MOPAC programme, said: “In the last 12 months, my life has completely changed thanks to the guidance I’ve had through MOPAC. It has allowed me to build a better working relationship with my peers. The mentors at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation have helped me to stay focused on producing my best work at school so that I can have a brighter future.”
Richard Allicock, Community Development Manager at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “This week’s tournament has been a great opportunity to bring together young people who are part of the wider MOPAC programme across London. Most of the young people we work with on the scheme are from some of the most deprived areas of our community so it really is a once-in-a -lifetime opportunity for them to access the facilities at our Training Centre.
“The success we’ve experienced with our MOPAC participants just goes to show how football can be used to bring people together and promote positivity.”
The MOPAC tournament was funded through players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, who support an extensive number of the Foundation’s community development projects. The funding awarded from People’s Postcode Lottery enables the Foundation to use the unique appeal of the Club to deliver creative, innovative and engaging programmes that improve social cohesion, build self-esteem and develop positive attitudes amongst young people.