Maindee police team net anti-racism soccer honour

MAINDEE Neighbourhood Policing Team have been presented with the winners cup for the Bettws Show Racism the Red Card football tournament.

More than 100 young people attended the event at the Active Living Centre in October, part of a fortnight of action held throughout Wales and Scotland, encouraging participation from all sections of the community to celebrate diversity and tackle racism.

The tournament was funded by the Football Association of Wales and Streetgames Charity Neighbourhood Festival and organised by a refugee community organisation, Zimbabwe Newport Volunteering Association in partnership with Wales BME Sports Network.

Maindee neighbourhood sergeant and captain of the Maindee police football team, Scott Askew, said: “We played four group matches, winning two and drawing two and then we were in the semi-final where we faced a team of Czech players. They scored with three minutes left on the clock - we thought our luck had finally run out, then with the final kick of the game we equalised and went on to win on penalties.

"In the final we played the Black Panthers from Swansea and yet again, somehow managed to win 5-3 on penalties to be crowned the surprising champions!

"Whilst the tournament was great fun, there's also a specific policing purpose to us taking part in challenges like this. It gave us a fantastic opportunity to meet youngsters from the area and get to know them on totally different level. This is a relationship that we have taken forward and we are now organising more football matches with teenagers, giving them a fun and meaningful way to channel their enthusiasm and energies."

The team received the winners cup from chief constable Jeff Farrar yesterday.

“Unfortunately, they are no Newport County FC, so there will be no open top bus tour around the streets of Maindee,” added Sgt Askew. “For this year at least”.

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