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Acland Burghley footballers 'connect on and off the field' with visiting Palestinian teenagers

PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 December 2019

Footballers from Acland Burghley play with members of the Abu Dis Youth Sports Club. Picture: Acland Burghley School

Footballers from Acland Burghley play with members of the Abu Dis Youth Sports Club. Picture: Acland Burghley School

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Pupils at a Camden school took part in a remarkable football friendly with teenagers from Palestine.

Footballers from Acland Burghley play with members of the Abu Dis Youth Sports Club. Picture: Acland Burghley SchoolFootballers from Acland Burghley play with members of the Abu Dis Youth Sports Club. Picture: Acland Burghley School

Girls from Acland Burghley School donned shinpads and got stuck in with players from the Abu Dis Youth Sports Club in Palestine on 28 November.

After a lunch which saw the two groups bond, mixed teams were formed and the girls took to the field.

Afterwards, they were given commemorative shirts - and tracksuits for the coaches - by local business Ace Sports from Kentish Town

The pupils at Acland Burghley who took part were delighted with the day, and said

Sasha Lewin, 15 is one of the year 10 girls to have took part in the cross-cultural kickabout.

Sasha, who was part of the Tottenham Hotspur youth system and now is the only girl playing for the Parliament Hill boy's team, said "It was different in a good way. We were able to bond with them by playing in mixed teams and connected on and off the field. We all hugged when we said goodbye."

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Also in year 10, Lana Drake, 15. said "We got to learn some of their language and it was interesting to find out more about their culture."

The event was organised by the school's PE teacher with the Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association (CADFA). Set up in 2005, CADFA campaigns for human rights causes in Palestine and in Abu Dis - a suburb of Jerusalem - in particular.

Mete Redif, the school's head of PE said: "It was a great experience for both sets of girls. It was great to see football unite them even though they are from different parts of the world."

Mete's second-in-command, Lisa Oteng, added: "It was wonderful to see the co-operation and mutual respect between the girls."

The teenager footballers from Palestine were on a ten day trip to Camden, which saw them play a number of friendlies in the borough in the spirit of making international friendships.

Over their time in London, the group visited Centre Court at the Wimbledon tennis championships, Leyton Orient football club, and some even tried ice skating for the first time.

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