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Football fever

The Football World Cup will be taking place in Brazil next year … and a little bit closer to home the football stars of tomorrow will have their own chance to shine as well.

The North Gwent Referees Association is holding a football festival during the World Cup in June thanks to a grant from Tai Calon Community Housing. All the games will be played at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on Saturday, 21 June, with separate categories for under 8,9,10,11,12,13,14 and 15 years of age.

Chloe Williams from Tai Calon said: “We are absolutely delighted to be supporting the festival. Football is a great way for young people to keep fit and to have fun at the same time.”

Gavin Townsend of the North Gwent Referees Association added: “Each child or young person taking part will have the chance to play a minimum of 120 minutes of football. The festival will be run on a similar running order as the World Cup with qualifying stages.”

The festival will also be showing support to "Show Racism the Red Card" and is teaming up with Hospice of the Valleys. The association hopes it will become an annual event.

Tai Calon, Blaenau Gwent’s largest social housing landlord, is supporting the Football Festival with £3,000 from its Community Chest which can give grants to local projects.

“We are happy to support local projects and the football festival is one such event that we are delighted to be supporting,” says Chloe.

Gavin added: “It will be a great fun day out with lots to do even if you’re not taking part on the pitch. We hope that at the end of it we will have persuaded a few more youngsters to take up refereeing. I have been a football fanatic all my life and took up refereeing at the age of 26. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and would encourage any youngster interested in the game to have a go, as it can be just as rewarding as playing and in my case more rewarding.”

Teams interested in playing in the Football Festival can contact Gavin Townsend by emailing gavintownsend@hotmail.co.uk or Chris Postians, secretary of the North Gwent Referees Associations by emailing postians1@talktalk.net

For more information on the Football Festival or the North Gwent Referees Association visit www.northgwentrefs.weebly.com or on Facebook by searching North Gwent Referees Association.

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