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The 32 Borough Cup, uncovered

“The 32 Borough Cup is meant to be a symbol of anti-youth violence activism in London”

The third annual 32 Borough Cup (Sat, 16th & Sun, 17th July 2022) saw main organiser Grassroots for Good team up with Netflix and hit series “Top Boy” to further amplify the charity’s message of using football as a catalyst for uniting London’s youth against violence and offering those involved additional opportunities to find career paths in future. The non-profit founded the 32 Borough Cup in 2019 to combat youth violence and gang activity and help young Londoners use their passion and drive purposefully. It gives youth a chance to thrive and feel empowered through sport while tackling some of the issues faced on and off the pitch.

So far in 2022 (21st August, 2022) 9 teenage murders have taken place in London. Initiatives such as the 32 Borough Cup aim to provide a focus and safe space in the capital to not only inspire the younger generations but to educate and unite them at the same time.

Previously sponsored by BT, with endorsements from the likes of Anton Ferdinand and Top Boy star Ashley Walters, the cup brings together some of the city’s talented young footballers as part of a 2-day initiative set up by Bobby Kasanga, founder of Grassroots for Good. Dubbed London’s very own ‘world cup’, the 32 Boroughs of London replace the 32 World Cup nations and bring all walks of life together whilst using sport for good in the community.

The first day of this year’s event was a careers fair, hosted at Loughborough University’s London campus, which saw companies spanning a range of industries (such as ‘A Jewellers’ and Netflix) offer insight, advice, and work experience opportunities to the hundreds that attended. The overarching message, that there are opportunities available and made attainable to everyone in sports whether on the pitch or behind the scenes, was reinforced throughout.

The 2nd day of the initiative gave the talented youngsters a platform to show off their skills in a one-day tournament watched by local coaches and football scouts. All attendees are passionate about their desire to make it in the game but since professional footballers only make up 0.007% of Britain’s population, the previous day’s careers introductions by companies were particularly important to the aspiring sportspeople to provide education and inspire possible career ‘back-up plans’ as a real lifeline and options to all.

“Football does amazing things for everyone”

“There are many young people that don’t really speak up, we don’t know what they’re going through. Coming here [The 32 Borough Cup] they meet up with other like minded people, it’s about trying to explore what we can do for them and really push them further in society.” says Bobby, “Our goal is to get kids off the streets to kick a ball instead and realise their potential.”

The ‘32 Borough Cup, uncovered’ video, produced by London-based sports marketing agency ROOTS., follows 3 aspiring young London footballers who have come from very different backgrounds, united in their passion for football and a drive to succeed. Kelvin, Joshua and Patryk are all Hackney Wick FC players who have found their own paths to the first team (which is also sponsored by Netflix x Top Boy for the 22/23 season) and represented Enfield Borough at this year’s tournament. Each player speaks of the road that has brought them to where they are, and why football and sports are so important to London’s youth culture in 2022.

See how you can get involved with Grassroots for Good here

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