On a more than eventful Monday on the 24th July, Notts County FITC and Arsenal in the Community joined together for an afternoon of football, stadium tours and activities to highlight the work both charities do in their local communities. The two hundred mile round trip almost didn’t leave a local garage when a puncture sustained to the FITC bus was swiftly repaired and the boys were back on the road.
Since the project started in 2016, Notts County FITC have supported in access of one-hundred refugees who have fled their home nations troubled by war or famine to seek safety in the UK. Upon their safe arrival in North-London, the Refugee project staff and participants were treated to an exclusive tour of the 60,000 seated stadium, including the home dressing room and pitch side at the world famous Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club.
The FITC boys donned the famous black and white stripes before competing in a round-robin tournament against Arsenal in the Community and Islington Centre Refugee Football team before making their safe return up the M1. Currently, FITC run the project on Thursdays at the John Carroll Leisure Centre from 5.00pm – 6.30pm.
James Lake, Refugee Football project manager spoke about the success of event: “when the boys finally arrived safely it was a fantastic day for everyone involved. For them (the participants) it was an amazing opportunity to see a world class stadium that they may not ever do again. To see the boys represent FITC in our kit was a real example of how far they have come both physically and in terms of integrating into the wider Nottingham community”.
Plans have been made for a return fixture to be played between Islington, Arsenal and the FITC refugee participants later this year. If you would like to get involved in supporting or participating in our 36 projects, please call 0115 859 9968.