The Lord Mayor of the City of Cambridge, Councillor Paul Saunders, was the guest of honour at the second edition of the Football Tournament organised by the Bisong Foundation. The tournament took place on Saturday 10th May 2014 at Whitehill Abbey Pools Cambridge (Coldhams Common)
A truly memorable day for the community as this year’s event featured stars of African football and heroes of the World Cup (Italy 1990) from Cameroon national squad, the Indomitable Lions namely; Cyrille Makanaky, Andre Kana Biyik, Charlie Ntamark alongside former Junior Lions Michael Bisong, Jean Black Ngody, Victor Mafiamba, Boni Ngu as well as a former Premier League player Wayne Butfoy.
Under the theme of integration in diversity, Bisong Foundation chose to leverage the powerful influence of the elite footballers to mobilise the community and promote personal, social and community development. The tournament objectives were to:
• Foster social connections – bringing people together to expand and strengthen social ties and network, creating a sense of belonging.
• Promote good health and behaviours through social inclusion, fair play, fun and excellence at every level, helping to empower people and building self-esteem as one of the teams in the tournament represented young homeless and sufferers of mental illness.
• Communication, education and social mobilisation by engaging with football stars to mobilise the community and promote critical information and messages on malaria prevention and control within the African community and travellers.
The following eight teams took part in the tournament; Cambridge FC, Bafana Bafana (London), Pond Park Rangers (Chesham, Bucks), Holy Moses (Birmingham), Orchard Athletics (Cambs), Croydon FC, One Zero (Depford) and Hopebidge Homeless FC (Cambs).
After the preliminary round the best teams Bafana Banafa and Holy Moses clashed in the finals which Bafana Bafana won by 3 – 0. A gallery match between a selected community team against the World Cup Stars preceded the tournament finals. The Stars beat the community team 1 – 0.
The Lord Mayor of Cambridge commended the organisers for the diversity of participants and the inclusive nature of the tournament, notably with teams from the West Midlands, Buckinghamshire, Croydon, East London, South East London and Cambridge.
Bisong Foundation Chairman, Mr Michael Bisong, a Senior Social Worker noted that "there has always been a moral case for inclusion, but we need to take practical steps to harness the benefits of diversity in the community in order to successfully create and sustain a genuinely inclusive community”.
Over 300 supporters of the participating teams as well as the host community attended the event, which was organised in partnership with African Diaspora for Action Against Malaria (ADAAM). The tournament was supported by the Cambridgeshire FA and covered by the local media.
Mr Samuel Taku a former FECAFOOT referee of Cameroon and currently a qualified FA referee was the main match official of the tournament.
The tournament was generously sponsored by
• Lancaster Toyota Cambridge
• Lovell Lodge Hotel Cambridge
• Mrs Hortence Bisong (Cambridge)
• Mr Shiraz Peer (Senior Advocate Immigration Assist Birmingham/Watford)
The Winners trophy was awarded to the captain of Bafana Bafana Mr Nqobile Nkomo and the Runners – Up trophy was awarded to Mr Willy Gobina.