Elite Youth

Football in the community – future of grassroots community development

elite youth logo Elite Youth are a local youth and community organisation based in Tower Hamlets, one of the most social deprived boroughs in London. Established in 1973 they underwent a re-organisation in 2000.

Their key aims are to work with disadvantaged and disengaged people from the local ethnic minority community and encourage them into mainstream education, employment and training.

Underlining the importance of developing healthy and active lives for young people, the Elite Youth Football in the Community (FITC) project is one of the most successful in East London. Its target is to nurture talent and develop the skills of players, coaches and volunteers, whilst tackling lack of provision and the under representation of Asian community in the local borough.

Estate based football

Elite Youth has embraced football as an alternative and effective way of keeping young people engaged and active. The scheme now attracts over 500 young boys and girls into attending active sports and football programmes each week.

The FITC project aspires to increase access and participation for all young people through numerous football initiatives, including school, estate and community based coaching, along with structured football development through teams at U12, U14, and U16 in local leagues, as well as providing pathways to semi-professional and professional football clubs.

Elite Youth are a progressive community group, which provides an essential community resource, not only through its FITC programme, but also through its numerous sports programmes and social initiatives, such as youth clubs and volunteering schemes. It also provides opportunities for the next generation of coaches, players and managers through its training schemes.

The project has succeeded in creating a wide network of partners and funders that will hopefully see the project increase its programmes and influence the next generation of young people through the benefits of football and active recreation.

The Elite Youth teams have also had a taste of football on the international stage: three under-16 players were invited for trials for the England under-16 youth club team; the under-14 teams won the plate trophy in the Arsenal International Tournament; and the under-16’s took part in the St Andrews International Tournament.

Under 16 team in St Andrews

Recent events included the Tower Hamlets Community Cup where over 400 players and some 45 teams from around east London competed together, and a hugely successful local community festival which brought the diverse Tower Hamlets community together.

This is a project that was needed in this part of east London. Already we can see the difference it is making to the young people. There is plenty of talent here, but its needs to be channelled in the right way. I look forward to the project growing and gaining even more success in the near future.

This is a project that was needed in this part of east London. Already we can see the difference it is making to the young people. There is plenty of talent here, but its needs to be channelled in the right way. I look forward to the project growing and gaining even more success in the near future.
Abdal Ahmed, Football Development Manager

For further information contact Abdal Ahmed on 020 7247 8080 or visit the Elite Youth website.

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