Police constable Harry Mansbridge on how officers are using sport to help bring young people together
A charity youth football tournament featuring more than 200 local schoolchildren recently took place at Oasis Academy Hadley in Ponders End – with help from police officers.
The #Together event was run in conjunction with [email protected], Thrive, Mind and Haven Children’s Hospice, which all shared donations totalling £650.
I was one of the organisers and my favourite quote of the day was a young player who told me: “I didn’t think the old bill did things like this – I can actually talk to them like normal people now.”
That alone made it all worthwhile.
Off-field activities included a boxing demonstration from Edmonton Eagles Boxing Club, a police officer demonstrating what his two police dogs Marnie and Lexy could do, an insight into the work of the Metropolitan Police Cadets, plus a health and wellbeing workshop.
A minute’s silence was also observed to remember young people who have lost their lives through knife crime.
Inspector Paul Dwyer, who helped me organise the day, said: “It was great to see so many young people come together to have fun and engage with police officers but also to reflect on the anti-knife crime message.”
The winners of the tournament were Jellott Promotions under-16s and Soccer Shop Window under-14s, who now qualify for a national event to be held on Sunday 7th July at The Warren.
During the day 19 children expressed an interest in joining the Met Police Cadets and six youth teams have so far signed up to play in the Tottenham Youth League, which means we can get some ongoing benefits from the day, which is what we were really hoping for.
Waitrose Enfield Town, McDonalds Wood Green, Morrison’s Enfield and Sainsbury’s Low Hall all kindly donated refreshments on the day, for which we thank them very much.