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 100 young people enjoy charity football tournament at Durham Uni


Boys and girls aged 13 and 14 travelled from across the North East and North Yorkshire for the KickOff@3 seven-a-side charity football tournament, which was held at the University’s Maiden Castle sports complex on Thursday 21 March.

The annual tournament is a joint initiative between the University and local police forces and is part of the national KickOff@3 scheme, which was launched by Metropolitan Police PC Michael Wallace and community youth engagement worker Ashley Levien to develop engagement and trust between young people and the police.

This year, the Durham event expanded from Durham Constabulary alone to also include Northumbria Police and North Yorkshire Police and teams travelled from Newcastle, across County Durham, Darlington and as far south as Norton, North Yorkshire.

The winners were Wellfield School, from Wingate, County Durham, who will now represent the North East and North Yorkshire in the national finals in Kent in July. They defeated Norton College 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out following a 0-0 draw in the final.

Wellfield will be hoping for more success after last year the Durham winners, New College Durham, finished as national runners-up.

Durham University students helped organise the tournament, New College Durham students acted as referees and local community volunteers were also involved.

Quentin Sloper, Director of Durham University’s Experience Durham, said: “It was great to see so many young people from right across the region enjoying their sport here at Durham University.

“Sport has the power to bring people together and with the top-class facilities, coaches and athletes we have at Durham, we can play a big part in that. We wish Wellfield every success for the national finals.”

The tournament raised money for the Bradley Lowery Foundation, to support Ollie Sweeney, who is currently fighting Neuroblastoma.

The event was opened by Durham Constabulary Chief Constable Mike Barton, Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg and Mark Brian, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at the University’s Experience Durham.

It was supported by Durham County Football Association, Show Racism the Red Card and the Royal Air Force.