Football is one of the most popular games in the world, a test of strength, stamina and teamwork.
So it was fitting that Ramgarhia Youth Forum – a London-based, not-for-profit organisation that promotes community spirit through sport, spirituality and education – held its inaugural event on the pitch with the ‘Kick It Together’five-a-side football tournament for under-12s at Goals Hayes in the London borough of Hillingdon.
The January 19 competition brought together eight local teams: two from Brook House Football Club, two from Martin Baker FC, one from Inventive Football, and three from Lions Youth. All the players were from the Watford, Slough, Hayes and Southall areas.
Watched by over 100 spectators, including parents and VIP guests, the tournament kicked off at 11am. The top two teams from each of the four groups competed in the semi-finals, followed by a third place ‘plate final’ and then the final.
Making it to the first semi-final were Lions Youth B and Martin Baker, with Martin Baker emerging the winners. In the second semi-final, Martin Baker B battled it out with Inventive Football, who won the match.
The plate final between Brook House FC and Lions Youth was evenly matched until two goals in quick succession saw Brook House triumph.
A thrilling final pitted Inventive Football against Martin Baker FC. Cheered on by the crowd, Inventive opened the scoring with some brilliant football from Aman. The game reached fever pitch during the last five minutes. With Inventive Football 2-1 ahead, they scored a third goal at the eleventh hour to become the first winners of RYF’s ‘Kick It Together’ tournament.
Before distributing the prizes, some of distinguished guestscommended the young participants andthe vision of Ramgarhia Youth Forum.
Businessman Paul Riat, OBE congratulated the organisers, saying: ‘Through sport we develop community cohesion… we meet different people from different backgrounds and cultures and these are the very aims and objectives of Ramgarhia Youth Forum. These are the teachings of our Gurus, to reach out to all faiths, religions and cultural backgrounds, and this has been achieved here this afternoon.’
Cllr David Yarrow, the Mayor of Hillingdon, praised all the players, telling them that ‘playing the game is what matters and the sportsmanship involved’.
For Labour MP Virendra Sharma, the event was a ‘great day in the history of spirit in West London’. He told the youngsters, ‘This is not a one-off event – we would like to see you in the national team’, and highlighted the importance of sport in generating social unity.
‘Focusing on grass root sports to develop future national role models is crucial and we as elders will continue to support the Ramgarhia Youth Forum to help achieve this,’ he concluded.
Inventive Football then went up to receive their winners’ trophy, while other awards included a ‘Player of the Tournament’cup for Aman of Inventive Football and a‘Goalkeeper of the Tournament’ trophy for Lions Youth goalie Karanbir Singh. Each player received a personalised Ramgarhia Youth Forum medal. The event concluded with a raffle, in which prizes were donated by Manchester United FC, leading high street stores and local businesses.