Teenagers tackle the police

TEENAGERS were today nursing aching muscles after a taking part in a police football tournament.

TEENAGERS were today nursing aching muscles after a taking part in a police football tournament.

The event for 16 to 19 year olds from estates around Ipswich was organised by the South East Ipswich Safer Neighbourhood Team to get the youngsters interested in playing sport against each other.

The three-hour tournament, which took place at Gainsborough Sports Centre, Clapgate Lane, on Friday saw six teams taking part, including Chantry, the Triangle Estate, Nacton, Thurleston, YMCA Central Ipswich and the police, which comprised constables and community support officers from all five of the safer neighbourhood teams in the town.

Thurleston team were the eventual winners beating Nacton 2-1 in the final after some closely fought matches.

Pc Darrell Dunnett who helped to organise the event said it was a complete success and it was hoped another tournament would now be arranged.

The event came at the end of Not In My Neighbourhood Week, which aimed to raise public awareness of the work being done by local agencies to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

Most Read

Funding to use the football pitch came from Ipswich Borough Council's anti-social behaviour budget and Suffolk Police supplied money for the referees.

The Suffolk Football Association, who supported the event, provided balls, bibs and three referees.

Sgt Timothy Gregory, of the South East Ipswich Safer Neighbourhood Team, who helped to organise the event, said: “The aim was to offer every Safer Neighbourhood team in Ipswich the chance to engage and play football against their local youths.

“It provided a great opportunity for the youths to come and play football and perhaps rekindle an interest in sport. We would like this to be more than a one-off.”

Pc Dunnett, said: “We had a lot of young people say to us they were fed up with hanging around and having nothing to do so we decided to hold a game of footie for them. We have had a lot of support from organisations.”

Some of the teams were already established in their area, like the Triangle team, whereas the others were formed for the occasion.

Josh Hender, 18, who plays for Triangle, said: “I have been playing for Triangle for four years now since it first started. It gives you a sense of family and community.”

Louis Mott, 16, said: “It gives us something to do and gets us altogether.”

Are you a member of a local group which has changed your life? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk