(These programme notes were written by Head of the Community Trust, Kevin Thoburn, for last Saturday's edition of Talk Of The Town)
YEAR 6 YOUTH FOOTBALL COMPETITION FOR LUTON SCHOOLS IN AID OF MACMILLAN CANCER, KEECH HOSPICE AND CRESCENT CARE
Last week saw the very first Mayor’s Charity Schools Cup take place. All Luton schools where invited to take part by this year’s Luton Mayor, Tahir Khan, to highlight the benefits of cohesion through sport in the town as well as benefitting the Mayor’s chosen charities – Macmillan Cancer, Keech Hospice and Crescent Care.
The tournament followed on from last summer’s successful Euros Schools tournament and once again brought together the council’s cohesion team, Active Luton and the Hatters Community Trust, along with fantastic logistic support from Arriva, who transported the children to and from the event on the day.
A real team effort to bring the Town’s schoolchildren together and celebrate our diversity and strong community cohesion. The tournament was a hotly-contested event with eventual winners Sacred Heart Primary School from Stopsley overcoming St Mathews Primary School from High Town 1-0 in a very closely fought final.
Sacred Heart received the Mayor’s Charity Schools Cup and St Matthews the runners-up cup, and they will both be our invited matchday guests at a game next month to allow them to show off their silverware to all of our supporters. Pleased to say following the final a couple of players also received invites to trial within the club’s youth system – so who knows, maybe a future Hatter has been identified!
Special mention also to Ferrars Junior School who won the tournament fair play award, recognising their exemplary sportsmanship during the tournament. The big difference to this year’s tournament is that all schools taking part in the tournament are also taking part in fundraising for the Mayor’s chosen charities by holding ‘mufti’ days at school, with the school raising the most money for charity being invited as our special match day guests at a home fixture next month with a coaching session, ground tour and opportunity to meet the players before kick-off.
The Mayor was on hand to present the trophies, and he commented: “The Mayor’s Charity Schools Cup is really to celebrate all that is good about our schools around diversity, cohesion and community by not only using the power of football to bring everyone together, but also to show how we care about our community and particularly how the chosen charities support the more vulnerable members of our community.
“I hope that the event will become an annual event which future Mayors will support.” Councillor Aslam Khan, portfolio holder at the Council for Leisure and Culture, also presented the runnersup cup and commented: “The event showed what can be achieved when the Town comes together.”
Daniel Douglas, the Hatters Trust Operations manager added: “It’s great to get all the kids from across Luton together and see them all compete to represent their school and their different part of Town.
“I want to thank Heather James at the Council, Karen Abell at Active Luton and Lyndsey Frostrick at Arriva for their support, along with all of the school staff who took part and looked after the children.”