Brighton stars surprise children at football tournament

ALBION stars made a surprise appearance at a football tournament for at-risk youth.

Lewis Dunk and Victoria Williams, the captains of the men’s and women’s teams, attended the tournament, which was held at Albion’s training center in Lancing.

They were also joined by Dutch defender Joel Veltman and players Julia Zigotti Olme, Katie Robinson and Emma Kullberg.

Dubbed the Play Together Football Festival, the tournament was hosted by Albion In The Community (AITC), the club’s official charity, along with sponsor American Express.

The Argus: Around 120 people took part in the tournamentsAround 120 people took part in the tournaments

The tournament was ‘open rules’ meaning there was no referee allowing participants to develop skills in ‘decision making, negotiation and compromise with an emphasis on fair play’.

American Express Vice President Nikki Edelman said: “It was a great day and very encouraging to see young people of all ages, genders and abilities playing football together and having fun.

“What made it even more special was the interaction with the players at the club. With the new season just around the corner, we are extremely grateful to the players for taking time outside of their training schedules to support so many participants alongside our incredible American Express volunteers.”

The Argus: Victoria Williams, left, with blonde hair, and Lewis Dunk, rightVictoria Williams, left, with blonde hair, and Lewis Dunk, right

There were tournaments for children aged 7 to 11 and 12 to 16, each with eight teams.

There was also a women’s walking soccer tournament, which consisted of 34 players.

In total, more than 120 people attended the festival on July 29th.

The Argus: participants, players and coachesparticipants, players and coaches

Paul Brackley, Disability Manager at AITC said: “We know football is a hugely powerful tool to motivate and inspire young people to promote diversity, equality and inclusion, and improve physical and mental health.

“The event is the first in a series of planned football festivals aimed at introducing new people to football as a sport for all, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, so that everyone feels welcome in football.”

AITC ran the event with their trainers, while American Express had 15 volunteers on site. Brighton stars surprise children at football tournament

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