For last Saturdays Tottenham Premier League game there was an extra special start to the game at the Community Track.
For every home game this season the West Ham United Foundation have been running a Walking Football tournament before the match. The tournament has been sponsored by Club Sponsor Basset & Gold. The winning team are then taken pitch side to be presented with their medals, which is a great experience for everybody involved.
For the clash with Tottenham Hotspur there were two women’s teams going for the medal, which was something very new for both sides.
In order to create more female empowerment and inclusivity, it was decided that there would be both women’s and men’s teams to compete, the winner of both games to be presented pitch side.
Iqra Suleman works at the West Ham United Foundation and joined up to be part of the women’s team alongside her sister, Zainab, “It was so interesting to come down here and play against another team for the first time in ages. Considering we had never played against another team together we scored three goals and got to a penalty shoot-out it’s a great achievement for everybody”
Also playing were two teams of over 60’s men, which was a different comparison to what is normally an over 40’s tournament. This allows a range of players to take part who wouldn’t usually get the chance to be involved.
Senior Project Officer Darryl Gheerawo said “It was great to see a female team taking part, ensuring that our Walking Football sessions are completely inclusive and open to all! It is great to see a Club sponsor get so involved in the work that the Foundation do, and we are immensely grateful for all the work that Basset & Gold do to keep this tournament running to this high standard”
The tournament ran two hours before the kick off of the Men’s game, allowing spectators the chance to watch the climax of the Walking Football tournament.
Iqra finished off by saying “I would like to say thank you to Basset & Gold for giving me this opportunity as well as tickets to watch the game, and also a massive thank you to the Foundation for playing a huge part in the organisation of this tournament. It would be great to be able to get involved in more tournaments like this as I think it’s great for women power!”