Welcoming teams from across the country, today’s event at Stretford Sports Village offered something for everyone, headed up by a 16-team football tournament. Entertainment included donkey rides, a bouncy castle and funfair stalls ensuring the ultimate family day out.
Organised through Manchester United Foundation’s partnership with Stretford High School, the festival encouraged young people and wider communities to take part and celebrate the World Cup in a competitive and friendly atmosphere.
Saturday’s community event was preceded by a high school tournament, which took place on Monday 9th June, and a primary school event on Wednesday 11th June. The Community World Cup was kick-started by an opening ceremony including a Bhangra drum procession and the trophy unveiling.
Opening the festival, Suknam Singh, Director of Pastoral School and Head of PE at Stretford High School said, “Many people say football is a religion and I agree. What other sport can get the wider communities to celebrate together in a friendly and competitive tournament? In today’s event we have attracted teams from the Somalian community of Manchester, Chinese community of Liverpool, and the Sikh communities of Manchester, Bradford and Doncaster.”
Manchester United Foundation cohesion officer Tom Fitton was a key organiser for the Community World Cup. He said, “Today was a great achievement and after so much hard work it was rewarding to finally bring so many different cultures, experiences and beliefs together and be united by football.
“The tournament was played with pride, passion and belief, with every team and individual expressing their true talents. The quality of football was outstanding throughout the day and I can say it was a pleasure to have organised and been part of such a successful event.”
Old Trafford FC ran out eventual winners in a hard-fought final against rivals Catalonia. Congratulations to all the teams who took part!