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22 August 2014

Friday 22 August

The first ‘Rio Ferdinand Foundation Cup’ took place at Goals Beckenham North in London on Wednesday 20 August.

The football tournament for 16-21 year olds was part of the ‘Breaking Barriers’ project which holds regular sessions at The New Generation Centre (TNG) in Sydenham and features partners Active Communities Network, London Youth and Lewisham Council alongside the Rio Ferdinand Foundation.

Launched in November, Breaking Barriers in Lewisham helps more local people get into sport thanks to £200,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund.

The project and was set up in response to a need for more community sports activities for 14+ year olds with the funding allowing it to expand to offer more regular sessions in 2014.

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation Cup was held in Beckenham to encourage teams from Lewisham to travel within London and featured teams from across south and east London including Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Wandsworth.

Representatives from the Job Centre, Lewisham Council, Lewisham Young Citizens Panel and the Metropolitan Police were also in attendance to assist with the day and create a dialogue of how best to keep Breaking Barriers moving forward.

Downside Fisher won the tournament thanks to a 2-0 victory in the final against a side representing Lambeth.

Ryan Bish, Project Coordinator – Lewisham, Active Communities Network, said:

"The Rio Ferdinand Foundation Cup today was the name we gave to our annual football tournament which links up all of our partners on the ‘Breaking Barriers’ programme.

“The day has been a real success as young people from across London have come together, played hard but fair and enjoyed the sun and facilities here.

“Breaking Barriers is already creating new sports opportunities for young people across Lewisham and is developing young people’s creativity and skills on the way to become leaders in their local community so they themselves can support the next generation of young people.

“I would like to thank all of our partners here today, especially Goals Beckenham North and their staff, the enthusiasm shown by them and the young people shows how much sport can have a wide, positive impact in our communities.”

Zoe Mellis, Head of Sport Development, London Youth, said:

“We are really pleased to be working in partnership with Active Communities Network and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation on ‘Breaking Barriers’ which has already done such fantastic work in the local community since November.

“The Rio Ferdinand Foundation Cup 2014 is just one example of how young people can get involved in sport, enjoy themselves alongside meeting and competing against other young Londoners.

“Our regular sessions at the TNG Centre ensure that more and more young people from Lewisham benefit from the sports on offer, and have a safe and inspiring place where they choose to go and we are delighted to be part of a strong partnership which is so evident today.”

Winston Frame, Team Manager, Downside Fisher Youth Club FC said:

“It was a brilliant tournament, I’ve been to tournaments here before but never been this good before. All the teams were exceptionally good.

“I was a little nervous about bringing down my boys to a mixed event as they are from different boroughs, but everything turned out great.

“Football brings them all together – it is great to take part and it means a lot to win. They didn’t think they were good and had low esteem going into the tournament, so to win means a lot to them.”

CI Julian Hagley, Safer NeighbourhoodsLewisham Senior Leadership Team, Metropolitan Police said:

“It’s good that so many different organisations have been brought together for such a successful tournament; the Rio Ferdinand Foundation Cup.

“The young people here today have been really well behaved – they have come from different south London boroughs and east London too.

“It’s been a really excellent day.”

Chris Best, Labour Councillor for Sydenham, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing & Older People said:

“It was a fantastic afternoon with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and the Lewisham Young Citizens Panel here in Beckenham.

“I was delighted to present the cup to Southwark – it was an amazing performance from the winners. Maybe it can be Lewisham next year?”