75 young people from disadvantaged parts of the North West got a dose of Olympic fever when they received tickets to a women’s football match, USA v. North Korea, at Old Trafford.
The 75 tickets were given to Mosaic by Trafford Borough Council to distribute to young people. We worked with our volunteer mentors to target hard-to-reach young people via youth groups and community organisations.
One such organisation was the girls’ youth group of the Yemeni Community Association of Greater Manchester. Community worker Jauharah Salim said afterwards: “I was anxious that the girls may not want to attend as football and sports aren’t commonly promoted in Yemeni Communities, and finances is usually an issue. However I then had an influx of interest which resulted in taking 23 young people.”
“The young girls that attended were overwhelmed with excitement of attending a live football match at Old Trafford, being a part of London 2012, and were able to cheer on a two great international ladies’ teams. The Yemeni community is generally a conservative Muslim community, so the fact that the football was a ladies game, it really gave a new angle to gender equality. “
She added: “Days before the game, I was bombarded with messages and phone calls as to what to wear and which team to support. It was the first football match any of the girls had ever attended, their first experience of the football stadium atmosphere. The girls felt that they were a part of something big. The stadium brought everyone together, regardless of age, race, colour or faith, a true sense of community cohesion.”
“This has been a new experience for all; however I very much doubt it will be the last football experience.”
After the game, one of the young people, Somayya, said, “‘I never thought I would get the chance to watch a football game at Old Trafford and coming to the stadium has inspired me.”
Find out more about Mosaic’s work with young people in the North West