A team of youngsters from Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Ferry Lane Kickz project competed at the European Cruyff Court Championships in Barcelona recently.
The project’s Under-13s team won the chance to represent the UK at the tournament after beating their Arsenal counterparts 19-9 over two legs to become the National Cruyff Court Champions.
Cruyff Court Tottenham Hotspur is a multi-use games area on the Ferry Lane Estate which provides an all-weather surface for local young people to enjoy football, tennis and basketball as well as hosting the Foundation’s Kickz project three evenings a week.
The Championships saw teams from across Europe come together including Holland, Spain and Denmark, each representing a country which has a Cruyff Court.
Spurs drew their opening game 0-0 against the Netherlands before impressively beating Spain’s representatives 3-1. Spurs then lost their final game to Denmark meaning their opponents progressed to the final on goal difference, who then went on to beat the Netherlands 4-3 and win the tournament.
Kickz is a national Premier League initiative which uses the unique appeal of football clubs to engage young people aged 12 to 18 years old in sport and positive activities outside of normal school hours, in some of the country's most disadvantaged communities.
The free sessions aim to break down barriers between the Police and young people, whilst providing social support and education to help reduce crime, anti-social behaviour, gang activity, alcohol and drug abuse.
Using the power of sport and the appeal of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the Foundation’s Kickz programmes give local young people the opportunity to play organised football and other sports along with taking part in dance, music and fashion workshops across the London Boroughs of Haringey, Enfield and Waltham Forest.
Since the project was launched in 2006, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation coaches and volunteers have worked with more than 5,000 young people locally.
Cruyff Court Tottenham Hotspur was made possible thanks to the Cruyff Foundation and Haringey Council with the Ferry Lane Kickz programme funded by the Premier League and the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Alex White, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Community Development Manager said:
"Taking part in the Cruyff Court European Championships was a once in a lifetime experience for these young men, some of whom had never travelled overseas before.
"The opportunity to compete against teams from across Europe as well as meeting football legends Johan Cruyff and AC Milan’s Bojan Krkic was unbelievable.
“On the pitch the boys faced tough opposition in Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark, narrowly missing a place in the finals on goal difference.
"Despite the result they can take great pride for their hard work and efforts while representing Tottenham Hotspur and England.”
Councillor Joe Goldberg, Haringey’s Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Youth, said:
"A huge well done to the Kickz team who did brilliantly in the competition. I’m thrilled to support such a positive project like Kickz and the Council was very happy to provide some funding to help them get to Barcelona. While the team didn’t manage to go all the way and win in Spain, they’ve certainly made some great memories.”
Further information about Kickz.