With the £4million capital re-development of the Osmani Youth Centre and with over 30 regular activities and engaging over 500 per week, perhaps we could be forgiven for resting on our laurels and thinking things could not get much higher in our success. That was, of course, until Peter Crouch gave a new meaning to aiming ‘high’ by coming to visit the Elite Youth U19’s football team!
The visit of Peter Crouch inspired the young people to continue to be involved in positive activities and motivated them to continue to improve their game. Muhammad Didar, Healthy Futures Project Manager, said ‘It is imperative we give young people positive things to do in order to deter them from negative activities.’
Crouch explains: ‘If there’s nothing to do or focus on, kids will find something else – and that won’t always be a healthy, safe hobby. It’s so important that projects like Osmani Trust exist and reach out to young people to give them a chance.’
Salman Hussain, aged 19, who’s been playing football with Elite Youth U19 since he was 11, and is now at university hoping to become a teacher, explains: ‘Most kids round here don’t have much money, and there’s not much to do. School isn’t a massive deal for most of us. I’m lucky, I’ve had football. And it’s made me disciplined. The guys on the team won’t get into trouble or fights because if the coach found out we wouldn’t be allowed to play.’
The event was part of the National Lottery Good Causes Roadshow where projects across the nation funded by the National Lottery were being highlighted to celebrate the positive impact of lottery funding. The Healthy Futures Project is currently funded by the National Lottery through Sport England.
The U19’s football team currently play in the London Football League and are currently sitting 4th in the table with 4 games in hand. With possibility of winning their respective league, they are also in the quarter finals of the London Football League Cup.
Osmani Trust would like to say a massive thank-you to Sarah Johnston (Red Consultancy) Remy Atoyebi (Osmani Primary School) and Abdal Ahmed (Osmani Trust) for making the event an outstanding success
The links below are from the national media who attended the event on 4th March 2009.