Three of London’s top Premier League clubs came together last Saturday, when 55 youngsters from Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur’s community programmes joined forces to take part in the 2011 Premier League 4 Sport London Tournament.
Held at the Sobell Leisure Centre in Islington, the event featured youngsters from all over the capital, who participated in competitive tournaments across the four sports covered by the Premier League 4 Sport programme - judo, volleyball, badminton and table tennis.
Arsenal’s players were made up of youngsters from across Islington, Camden and Hackney including St Mary Magdalene Academy, Holloway School, St Aloysius College, Acland Burghley, Camden Schools for Girls and Cardinal Pole Catholic School.
Teams took part in a number of competitive tournaments on the day and each Club was successful in at least one sport, with Arsenal claiming the table tennis crown, Tottenham leading the way in judo and Chelsea scooping the volleyball and badminton prizes.
The badminton tournament, in particular, highlighted the fantastic spirit in which the event was played, with Arsenal satellite club player and young ambassador, Victor McCauley, swapping allegiance to Chelsea to help a shortfall in numbers and ending up as the overall winner! He said: “It was nice to win today’s event and you get a lot of confidence from winning games in a tournament setting. Being a Spurs fan, but playing regularly for the Arsenal badminton team, it was strange playing for Chelsea on the day, but their staff were really nice and friendly and I was glad to help out!”
After the tournament, the youngsters were joined by Arsenal reserve goalkeeper, James Shea, who handed out trophies and certificates to the winners, before having a go on the table tennis robot machine.
Islington-born James commented: “Having grown up in the area, it’s nice to see Arsenal and other Premier League clubs giving local kids the chance to keep active and get involved in different sports. It was good fun as well to have a go on the table tennis robot – I think we might have to get one for the training ground!”
Siobhan Atkinson, Premier League Community Development Officer, added: “It was a great event on Saturday and fantastic to see the 3 Premier League clubs working together to provide a competition for the young people involved in PL4S. I’ve no doubt it was inspiring for the young people to pull on the shirt of their respective Premier League Club and represent them in one of the four sports. Well done to all involved – while the rivalry was clearly there, the young people displayed great sportsmanlike behaviour and were a credit to their Clubs.”
This event, the first of its kind in London, was a great success. It brought together three local football clubs and a number of governing bodies in order for it to happen and is another great advert for the Premier League 4 Sport programme, which aims to offer young people five hours of sport a week, as part of the London 2012 legacy plans.
Arsenal in the Community would like to extend thanks to Aquaterra, the Sobell Leisure Centre and all of the staff from the Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur Foundations for their help and support on the day.Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 13 May 2011