Struggling to survive on the streets, fighting drink and drug problems and keeping themselves out of trouble may not be the preparation of the stars at the World Cup in Brazil but that’s just some of the challenges experienced by the players at AIR Football’s 5 a side World Cup event held at Brixton’s Ferndale Community Sports Centre on Friday 20th June.
The event supported by Turning Point and London CRC was a fitting culmination of both the struggle and success of the players, all of whom have fought their own personal battles against offending, addiction and disadvantage.
With 16 teams and over 120 players from AIR programmes across London putting into practice months of dedicated training, fitness and skills development, the battle to become AIR World Cup Champions was a fantastic success.
The day climaxed with Camden (Portugal) winning the AIR World Cup 4-3 in a pulsating match with Southend (Germany) and Wandsworth (France) narrowly overcoming Brixton (England) 2-1 in the Plate Final.
Keeping the crowd and players entertained throughout the day was a fantastic array of special guests, singers, DJ’s and acrobats including Jethro Sheeran, Fanti Acrobats and Inkradebell.
Special Guest and international rap star Example took time out of his busy schedule to make the draw, mix with players and fans and kick off the first match. Addressing the crowd, Example urged the players to grab every opportunity and turn their lives around. Example said
“AIR Football does great work with these young people. I feel a real connection to the project because I’ve had friends who have gone to prison and I can see how it ruins lives.