Newcastle Benfield Football Club has received a donation from local housebuilder, Barratt Developments North East, which enabled the club to run an exclusive football tournament for over 500 children for the very first time.
The £1,500 donation to the club, which came from Barratt Developments Community Fund – a monthly initiative which aims to support the communities in which the housebuilder builds – saw a weekend tournament of boys and girls all competing for the trophy. Spanning four different age groups, including the Under 8’s, Under 12’s and Under 15’s boys, as well as Under 14’s girls, ten teams for each age group took to the pitch at Walkergate in the very first competition the club has held for the local community.
The third and fourth placed teams within the league went on to compete for the semifinals of the shield, whilst the top two teams within the league went on to compete for the trophy. What’s more, a player from each age group was named Player of the Tournament, as voted for by the match officials. This is the first time that a tournament of this stature has been held for the children, and wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Barratt Developments’ donation.
Established in 2015, Newcastle Benfield Juniors, which is close to Barratt Homes’ Sycamore Grove development, aims to educate boys and girls in respect, discipline and social commitment through the medium of football. The club has recently joined the WildCats family, a programme by the FA for girls aged 5-11, to encourage girls into the sport. FIFA recently reported that the number of women and girls playing organised football has increased by nearly a quarter compared to 2019 (up to 16.6 million) and in England, 100,000 more girls are playing the sport regularly compared to 2017’s numbers. The local Newcastle Benfield Juniors has cultivated a home for girls to play football and develop their skills with the support of professional coaches.
Barry Faetz, Lead Club Committee at Newcastle Benfield Football Club, commented: “We’re so grateful to Barratt Developments North East, not only for choosing us as their Community Fund charity of the month, but also showcasing their support in children’s football. Following the recent win of the England lionesses at the World Cup, it’s been fantastic to see women’s football attract so much attention and excitement, which we look to carry into our own training sessions and matches. The tournament was a fantastic success, and it was wonderful to see boys and girls of all ages enjoying themselves.”
Natalie Donnelly, Sales Manager at Barratt Homes’ Sycamore Grove development, added: “We’re so pleased to hear how our donation has gone towards funding the Summer tournament for so many players to engage in football. It’s amazing to know that we’ve been able to facilitate a huge, fun community event and make a difference to the experience of the players at Benfield Juniors FC. We’d like to say a huge well done to all of the players that took part, as well as the winning teams for the trophy and the shield.”
Barratt Homes’ nearby Sycamore Grove development offers a selection of three, four and five bedroom homes, perfect for spacious, family living with greenery and mature trees in the centre. With a quarter of the development retained for open space, it is ideally situated within just ten minutes of Newcastle city centre and 15 minutes to the Tynemouth coast, Sycamore Grove truly offers the best of both worlds.