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Big Kick-off For Bristol Together Championships

The Bristol Together Championships gets underway at Keynsham Town Football Club this afternoon.

The school football tournament - designed to help cross gender; race; class; geographical and faith boundaries in the community – kicks off after months of preparation.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees is set to attend and earlier this month, gave his backing to the tournament.

He said: “The Bristol Together Championships unites young people from different walks of life and different areas of the city. 

“Sport is a great leveller - it breaks down barriers, helps us find common ground, gives us hope and inspiration.  

“I am committed to ensuring that all of our young people get the best possible start in life, and the importance of improving access and participation - not just in sport, but arts and culture too – across the whole city cannot be underestimated in that respect. 

 “I want Bristol to be a city that champions equality and diversity; somewhere everyone can participate in success."

“Sport has given me so much in life and I want everyone to have those same opportunities to flourish, both on and off the pitch.”

The Bristol Together Championships (BTC) is an exciting new project, working alongside the Bristol City Community Trust and supported by the Bristol Sport Foundation; Bristol City Council; Quartet Foundation; and Avon and Somerset Police.

The tournament pulls together primary schools from across the city and surrounding areas to play in an annual football competition. Each school twins with another to form a joint team, mixing children from very different backgrounds.

The championships will see 150 children from 30 different schools taking to the field, with the first round games running from 10am-12.30pm.

The knockout games will kick-off from around 1.30pm and the final is pencilled in for 3pm.

Amy Kington, director of the Bristol City Community Trust, said: “Sport is a fantastic vehicle that crosses barriers, creates and unites communities, improves educational attainment, the economy and wins hearts and minds.

“The Bristol Together Championships focuses on building a tolerant and inclusive city and we’re delighted to place Bristol City Community Trust and Football Club at the heart of it.”

Local civil rights campaigner, Paul Stephenson said: “It is a great honour to be able to lend my support to the Bristol Together Championships.

“It is crucial that we give young people the opportunity to cross the barriers that have historically divided our city.

“This is important for the children and young people themselves, contributing to the quality of the lives they will lead and the contribution they will make to the city.

“The success of this kind of initiative is important for all of us, because we share in what our children and young people are and what they will become.”

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