Football brings international team players together

The Cage attracts footballers from all around the world
The Cage attracts footballers from all around the world

A Bedford sports pitch, nicknamed The Cage, is bringing together football players from all over the world for a weekly international kick-about.

The free, five-a-side, football session is held at The Salvation Army, Commercial Road, for locals who originate from a number of different countries.

Players representing the UK, Italy, America, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Eretria, Poland, Romania, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nigeria, meet up every Tuesday for a game.

Muhammad, who lives on Commercial Road, just a few doors down from the cage, said: “It’s great to be able to come and play with friends in an organised game in this area. We were always getting told off for playing in the streets before.”

The session is part of the #JustTurnUp programme run by Bedford Borough Council with Sport England and The Salvation Army.

Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Bedford Borough Council Cllr Sarah-Jayne Holland said: “Players integrate brilliantly - the international language of football has flowed.

“In particular, physical activity is central to the quality of life of young people, as a key source of friendship, networks and self-identity, especially in the absence of work, full-time education or family responsibilities.”

The #JustTurnUp programme aims to promote physical activity, and provide residents with equal opportunities for participation.

The football sessions are just one of the #JustTurnUp activities on offer. There is Zumba, Cross Fit, Tennis, Badminton, Boxing, Cricket, Basketball, Skating, Netball and more sessions also available.

For more information on the #JustTurnUp programme, contact Robert Lindsay at Bedford Borough Council on 01234 718825 alternatively, email robert.lindsay@bedford.gov.uk

You can follow @youjustturnup on Twitter, or got to Facebook/bedfordsportsdevelopment