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Last Updated: Friday, 15 September 2006, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
The Your Game success story

A map of England and highlighted cities
Your Game found its way round the country

The inaugural Your Game tournament gave hundreds of young men and women from all walks of life the opportunity to come together in the name of football.

One-hundred-and-fifty teams from across the country made their way to Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Solent, Sheffield, Newcastle and London to compete for the honour of playing in the final at St James' Park, the home of Newcastle United.

Rice Lane of Liverpool won the men's event while Sheffield's Hallam Girls emerged victorious in the ladies' tournament.

Both teams were also rewarded with a trip to the World Cup in Germany, where they played an exhibition match at the inaugural StreetFootballWorld Festival.

THE PLAYERS

Players from over 30 different countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, took part in the competition.

As well as refugees and asylum seekers, there were also representatives from homeless hostels, ex-offender projects and those with physical and learning disabilities.

Here is what some of the players and organisers said about the tournament:

"Your Game had a positive emotional, physical and psychological impact on the players."
Terence Wallen, BRO-SIS (Birmingham)

Your Game 2006: The figures
1200 players
150 teams
120 Community Groups
300 free coaching/referees courses offered

"I was worried it would be a big PR stunt, but found this wasn't the case at all."
Andy McElroy, Chelsea Disabled (London)

"Siobhan had never played football before, now she and another player have signed up for a four-week course as Junior Sports Organisers with Everton FC."
Jenna Perrow, SAZ (Liverpool)

"The events were seen as a hugely positive experience by all, from the team managers and the young people to family and friends."
James Lowrey, Northumbria University Centre for Public Policy

"The team are much more involved in organising football since Your Game. It seemed to help them grow up, become more mature and taught them life skills."
Aminal Choudhury, Spotland (Manchester)

"The success of this year's event has emphasised the power of sport to break down barriers and it has been inspirational to see teams of all abilities from all backgrounds sharing the same pitch in the spirit of fair play."
Roger Mosey, director of BBC Sport

THE FUTURE

With the help of the Football Foundation, more community football projects are being established in inner cities.

For example, Your Game partner Street League plans to launch an initiative in Newcastle, providing sporting opportunities and employment for homeless and hard-to-reach groups in the city.

A young Your Game participant has a go at commentating
The commentary competition was very popular

Hundreds of Your Game participants will also achieve a Football Association level one coaching certificate, with many more benefiting from a refereeing course.

And a pilot work experience scheme with the Professional Footballers' Association is due to start soon in Sheffield.

The BBC has also uncovered some potential journalists of the future.

Graduates of the BBC's Tackling Skills programme reported on the Your Game regional heats and the final, while the winner of the commentary competition Danny Ni Ashong from London reported on England v Jamaica with 1Xtra.

Your Game will be back in 2007 - so keep your eyes peeled!

Your Game is a partnership between the BBC, the Football Association, the Premier League, Kick it Out, the Football Foundation, Street League and the Professional Footballers' Association.

SEE ALSO
Your Game champs jet off to Germany
07 Jun 06 |  Your Game
Your Game enjoys thrilling finale
22 May 06 |  Your Game
East End Game
10 Apr 06 |  Your Game
Solent round ends Your Game heats
27 Apr 06 |  Your Game
Your Game reaches Sheffield
20 Apr 06 |  Your Game
Your Game reaches Merseyside
31 Mar 06 |  Your Game
BBC Your Game reaches Newcastle
16 Mar 06 |  Your Game
BBC Your Game tournament begins
08 Mar 06 |  Your Game
Your Game in pictures
14 Apr 06 |  Photo Galleries


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