Footy brings the Kenilworth community together - The Leamington Observer

Footy brings the Kenilworth community together

Leamington Editorial 1st Mar, 2023   0

A SHARED passion for the beautiful game is helping to unite communities in Kenilworth.

Resident Mark Morrey, from ‘Onside Coaching’, has been helping locally placed asylum seekers to integrate with other groups in the town by forming a football team.

With the assistance of a small group of volunteers ‘Worldwide FC’ has already played matches against local teams, including sixth formers, teachers and parents.

Mark said: “The group of asylum seekers based in Kenilworth are great, they are really friendly and so thankful for any help they receive. I have learnt a lot since I first met them and realised very early on how much we all had in common especially everyone’s sense of humour.

“I also discovered how difficult they found aspects of life here and what they said made be both sad and ashamed, with their only interaction being while waiting at a bus stop when people would shout and swear at them as they drove past. It was at that point that I realised that something needed to change.

“Although this group is given access to education and activities there was little opportunity for positive interactions in the wider community. This is when we decided to ask them if they would like to form a football team and to organise some matches against different local groups. We have been really pleased with the response from everyone we have played, demonstrating what a warm welcome Kenilworth can provide if we can find a common bond.”

The latest charity fixture was played between Worldwide FC and a group of volunteers from Kenilworth Together, including the Deputy Leader of Warwick District Council, Coun Richard Hales.

Coun Hales added: “This is a tremendous initiative and I was delighted to have the opportunity not only to take part, but also to get to know the team members. I very much hope that this momentum will continue, slowly removing barriers and helping friendships to form.”


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