Youngsters have a ball at tournament

Stanny Bantz, the winning team at the five-a-side tournament.
Stanny Bantz, the winning team at the five-a-side tournament.

An Easter five-a-side football competition organised by the police and partners in Morpeth has been hailed a success.

Seven teams of youngsters aged between 12 and 14 took part in the tournament run by the Morpeth Neighbourhood Policing Team.

This is the 10th year running that neighbourhood officers have held the event in the town. It took place at the Riverside Leisure Centre.

The partner organisations included Active Northumberland, which supplied the facilities, and a local business that provided refreshments.

They were joined by the Bad Apples youth project, which ran an alternative circus skills workshop and other activities, such as face painting and glitter tattoos, while participants were waiting their turn to play and for the children who went along to watch the games.

Morpeth Neighbourhood Sergeant Sharon Wilmore-Greaves said: “This was a really enjoyable event for those who took part and their friends and family members who came to watch.

“Everyone seemed to have fun, both on the pitch and getting involved in the other activities, with officers spending time talking to visitors and players.

“These sorts of events help build relations with young people and their families and gives them an understanding of who their local officers are and how we can help. It also gives the youngsters something positive to do during the school holidays.”

This year, the winning team was Stanny Bantz and the runners-up were Squeltchy Sambas, with John Watson named player-of-the-tournament. All of the players received a medal for participating and the winning team and player of the match received a trophy.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird gave her support to the initiative. She said: “I’m extremely pleased to see so many people attending this event, either to take part or to support those involved.”