Christian Aid event sees football teams battle it out to fight poverty

The teams in the Christian Aid football tournament in Chandler's Ford.

The teams in the Christian Aid football tournament in Chandler's Ford.

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

They turned out in their footie kits to help give poverty the boot.

A total of nine teams battled it out for the title of the first Chandler’s Ford Christian Aid football tournament.

Players from churches and the community took to Hiltingbury Recreation Ground for the competition, which was organised to mark Christian Aid Week.

The week of fundraising, which runs until May 17, raised £12m last year and helps impoverished people across the world.

Cash was raised at the tournament through entry fees and a cake sale.

AFC Bishopstoke took the crown after fighting off competition from three teams put forward by St Edward’s Church. And, in what was a nail-biting finish, the win came thanks to a golden goal in extra time.

Ben Palmer, 23, AFC Bishopstoke captain and Christian Aid Intern, said: “It was a fantastic tournament, played in a great spirit for a worthy cause. It evoked memories for me of my trip to visit Christian Aid partners in Colombia.

“While I was living with the peasant farmer community in Las Camelias, I had the honour of watching one of their games in the women’s football league.

“I had listened to the women’s stories of bravery in fighting to return to their ancestral land which had been stolen from them, and how Christian Aid partners were central to their safety in the face of violence and intimidation.

“I know the money that we raised is used to support communities like those I met in Colombia, giving people a change to provide for themselves and also enjoy the beautiful game!”

Brian Ridsdale, chairman of the Chandler’s Ford Christian Aid group, said: “We were delighted to see so many people from the community coming to support the tournament.

“This week volunteers from local churches will be out collecting house-to-house for Christian Aid, as well as holding other fundraising events.

“We hope we can raise even more money than last year, and really make a difference to those living in poverty.”

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