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Festival of football

Colleges from across the North East were onto a winner when Sunderland College organised a five-a-side football tournament for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.

A group of volunteers from the college organised the contest, held on November 14, as part of Sunderland College’s Together Activity Group (TAG) project which aims to get students with learning difficulties and disabilities into sport and to take part in group activities.

Sunderland College project coordinator Rachael Smales helps the students organise TAG projects and says the football tournament has been a huge success.

Rachael said: “Many of the students taking part have not got involved in organised sporting activities before.

“They all really enjoyed the experience and it is great the other colleges from across the region are willing to get involved for the benefit of their students.

“We try to give our students the best college experience possible no matter what their interests or attainment level.”

The tournament was the idea of student volunteers who, as well as football, have so far organised Zumba classes, breakfast clubs and gym sessions.

Former Sunderland College student Konnor McCully is a TAG project volunteer who became involved through Durham FA’s Football Foundation Programme.

Konnor said: “The whole day has been fantastic, it could not have gone better.

“I love volunteering with the TAG Project, it is fun, exciting, and great teaching the students skills within football, I have learnt a lot too. Hopefully it can become a regular occurrence.”

Colleges taking part included East Durham College, Newcastle College, Tyne Met College and Sunderland College.

And the winners were Tyne Met College who beat Sunderland College C 3-1 in the final and will now go on to represent the North East Colleges at the BCS nationals in Bath.



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