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Students’ Union Community Sport programme kicks off with ‘The Ball’s’ journey to the Brazilian Football World Cup

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Queen Mary Students’ Union will launch its Community Sports programme at a series of events held by the Spirit of Football CIC on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 January. The Spirit of Football will see the launch of ‘The Ball’, a specially made Brazilian ball that will journey around the world, in a similar way to the Olympic Torch, before ending up at the 2014 Football World Cup in Brazil. The Ball will be used at a commemorative football match at Battersea Park on Thursday 9 January at 2pm, where QM students will play with a range of specially invited guests. The Students’ Union will also launch its Community Sports programme with a series of football workshops, seminars and a Brazilian launch party at Drapers, Mile End campus, on Thursday 9 January.

The commemorative football match, taking place at 2pm on Thursday 9 January, is exactly 150 years to the day of the first official game of football to Football Association (FA) rules in the same park. The friendly game will involve Spirit of Football All-Stars members, representatives of Sheffield FC (the oldest amateur football club in the world), local community sport champions, Justin Sullivan and other members of the band New Model Army - who have produced the official Spirit of Football song, Queen Mary University of London players and children from local schools.  

The Students’ Union, whose Community Sports Programme is supported by QM’s Centre for Public Engagement, will also launch also on Thursday 9 January, where freestyle football workshops and street football will take place. On the evening of Thursday 9 January the Students’ Union will host a Spirit of Football launch party at Drapers Bar and Kitchen, Mile End campus. The free party will have a Rio Carnival theme, with cocktails, Brazilian food tasters and a live DJ. The video of the official Spirit of Football song, ‘A Beautiful Game’ by New Model Army, will also be debuted.

In addition, Get Active, the Students’ Union’s sports programme, will deliver a free session of football, played according to old football rules and led by the Spirit of Football, on Friday 10 January from 1-2pm in QMotion, Mile End campus. Following the football session, a seminar about the Spirit of Football project will also be held in the Students’ Union Hub from 2.30-4pm, again on Friday 10 January.

Sarah Sarwar, President of Queen Mary Students’ Union, said: "We are proud to be a part of this unique event that will connect people and communities across the world. Students care passionately about making a difference. This why the Spirit of Football is the perfect occasion to launch our Community Sport coaching programme that offers trained student coaches the opportunity to carry out free sports coaching in schools and the local community."

Professor Peter McOwan, Vice-Principal for Public Engagement and Student Enterprise at QM, said: “I am pleased that through the Centre for Public Engagement we have been able to support Queen Mary Students’ Union in their excellent community sports programmes. This partnership with Spirit of Football is a very exciting development and I know will get people really involved.”

All activities are free of charge and timings are as follows:

Thursday 9 January12-4pmSpirit of Football - launch eventBattersea Park
Thursday 9 January2pmKick offBattersea Park
Thursday 9 January7pm onwardsSpirit of Football & Brazilian Themed After Party, Premiere Video Viewing of ‘The Beautiful Game’ by New Model Army & DJ set by LCGDrapers Bar & Kitchen, Mile End campus          
Friday 10 January1-2pmGet Active/Spirit of Football session to old football rulesQMotion Sports Hall, Mile End campus
Friday 10 January2.30-4pmSpirit of Football Seminar Talk  Students’ Union Hub, Mile End campus
Spirit of Football flyer [PDF 1.65 MB]

For more information about the Spirit of Football project and the various events taking place, visit Spirit of Football’s Facebook page or the website www.spiritoffootball.com.

Find out more about the Students’ Union Community Sports Programme: www.qmsu.org/communitysport.

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