Saturday night football sessions bringing communities together

1st July 2022

A free Saturday night football training session for children and young people is bringing communities together in Newport.

About 100 children and young people, aged six to 16, regularly take part in the sessions at the Newport Indoor Football Centre. A dedicated session for girls is also held on Friday evenings.

The training sessions are organised by the Newport Yemini Community Association (NYCA) and create an opportunity for young people to stay active while learning critical skills such as discipline, teamwork, and leadership. They also help to build bridges between different community groups.

Reggie Al-Haddi, chairman of NYCA, said: “Our football sessions are open to all children and young people in Pillgwenlly and the surrounding areas. We have children of many different races and religions, all joining in together, getting along and enjoying themselves.  

“There are some challenges in these communities but there is much to celebrate too. We are offering these young people somewhere to channel their energy, keeping them off the streets on a Friday or Saturday night, and at the same time we can work with them to develop confidence, skills and learning.”

NYCA has received funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office to run the sessions.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “If we want to tackle issues such as antisocial behaviour, crime and intolerance we must start as young as possible. The team at NYCA have created an inclusive environment where children and young people feel safe and supported by positive adult role models.

“I look forward to seeing how the children develop and grow over the coming years.”