A FOOTBALL tournament at Sunderland College has kick started a partnership with diverse communities from across the region.
The Partnership Cup, a joint initiative between Young Asian Voices, Sunderland Together (an anti-fascist group), International Community Organisation of Sunderland (ICOS) and Sunderland College, saw teams battle it out at the free event held on Tuesday, May 20 at GOALS, Bede Campus.
The worthy winners of the tournament were the A Team, an all-male team who attend and participate in Young Asian Voices and FA supported Just Play provision at the GOALS centre.
Kamareswaradas Ramanathas, the project manager from Young Asian Voices and the main co-ordinator of the tournament was delighted with their success.
He said: “With twelve teams participating it was a very busy event with a fantastic atmosphere. All the players thoroughly enjoyed the day and new links were forged between organisations. Everyone involved has agreed that they would like to make this an annual event.”
Jude Letham, from Sunderland College’s Equality and Diversity Committee, said: “As a college, it’s important we are engaged with the whole community and events of this type are a great way to strengthen our relationships with youth groups, unions, refugee groups, community and religious organisations across the city.”
The tournament also coincided with the college’s International Cultural Event which is held in May each year. Students shared language skills, crafts and food from their own cultures, including Thailand, Latvia, Spain and Poland. Entertainment was provided by Kurdish wrestlers/boxers and there were demonstrations of origami and sari-wearing. Sunderland Together also sponsored Kung Fu sessions for women.
Principal, Anne Isherwood, said: “This is the first time that Sunderland Together and ICOS have linked in with the college and Young Asian Voices to celebrate diversity. I’m thrilled that college staff and students had the chance to meet up with and play against teams from across the city. There was definitely a competitive element on the day but I’m so pleased the A Team won – they gave a great performance.”
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