Football for Unity launch attracts distinguished guests at House of Commons
An invitation only launch event for Football for Unity (FFU) took place on 12 October 2015, at the House of Commons & Speakers Green.
London, UK, 15 October 2015
Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, accompanied by various leaders of different faiths, political parties, businesses, NGO's and Football Associations, formally opened the event and commented on how impressive it is that such an initiative has been launched.
The morning kicked off with 60 youths from diverse cultural backgrounds participating in various football activities on Speakers Green. They were closely supervised by the London Football Association, Fundación Atlético de Madrid, Tuff FC, Southall FC and Coerver coaches.
As the guests mingled and watched the youngsters showing off their football skills, a special appearance was made by Jeremy Corbyn MP who offered his support to the FFU and commented that it’s all about “children coming together to play football and respect each other’s skills as well as each other”.
This was followed by a press meeting in Committee room 9, led by Virendra Sharma MP in which the FFU founders presented their mission statement and vision for the future.
Mr Sharma commented that “a lack of education and ignorance creates barriers. Many are burdened with prejudices against black, Asian or white people; against Muslims, Hindus, Jews or Christians; against the poor or the rich; the slow or the clever; the skinny or the obese; the disabled, the homeless, the jobless. Hatred of anyone who is different has no place in our new global community. Knowledge is key to tackling hatred and education is at the heart of Football for Unity”.
The founders’ vision and commitment was clear. They stated “FFU has been established to promote unity amongst young people around the world through the beautiful game of football. It provides a platform for cultural exchange, promotes health and wellbeing, and nurtures aspiring young footballers”.
The FFU projects will be set up worldwide, scaling up from successful existing projects in the UK, Spain, the USA and Mexico, to provide structured games, training, facilities and health awareness education. This will be targeted to groups of young people from diverse local communities who will benefit from improved integration through sport. Alongside this, ‘Toolkit’ sessions on nutrition, behaviour, conflict resolution and equality will engage youth and teach them to lead better lifestyles.
The launch was concluded with refreshments and canapés. A specially made football shaped cake was cut by the founders, marking a successful and enjoyable launch event.
Marketing Monkey, leading FFU’s UK marketing strategy commented “Football for Unity is about service to the community. By creating links and friendships between neighbours of different backgrounds within local communities, the programme helps to create a more harmonious, united community and paves the way for all sorts of future co-operation on social action projects. We are excited about the future for everyone involved”.
FFU would like to thank everyone who supported us by attending or by sending us warm wishes via email or telephone. A special thank you also to our sponsors who supported this event: Paul Kumar, Kool Cakes | Girish & Joginder Sanger, The Washington/Heston Hyde Hotel | Kena Chana, Chana Chemist |Wayne Mathews, Classic Sports | Papa Joe | Steve Godwin, Danone | Arun Handa, Mehfil | The London FA | Southall FC | Tuff FC | Fundación Atlético de Madrid
But our very special thanks goes to the children who have made history through the launch by coming together in the House of Commons and showing unity. This represents a closer step to a better understanding of tolerance and peace.
Who is behind Football for Unity?
The Co-Founders and Trustees are:
Ms. Anna Prior - Founder/ trustee of The Unity of Faiths Foundation www.theunityoffaiths.org
Mr. Charanjit Gill - Chairman of Southall FC www.southallfc.com
Mr Mariano Menéndez - President of Forbes LATAM www.forbes.com
Dr. Shamender Talwar - Founder/ trustee of The Unity of Faiths Foundation www.theunityoffaiths.org
Mr. Sanjeev Sharma – Managing Director of Southall FC www.southallfc.com
Mr. Marcus Faraji – CEO of Digital Empire www.digitalempire.es
Mr. Kiyomi Cerezo – Managing Director of Digital Empire www.digitalempire.es
More information on Football for Unity:
www.footballforunity.org | Twitter: twitter.com/f4unity
Facebook: facebook.com/f4unity | Instagram: instagram.com/footballforunity