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Girls Friendly Builds Bridges Between Fans

Newcastle United Foundation hosted a friendly seven-a-side girls football match at Westgate Centre for Sport in a joint ‘Building Bridges’ and Premier League Girls Football initiative, playing against participants from Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light. 

The teams were joined by professionals Courtney Lock and Jasmine McNaught from Newcastle United Women’s team and Rachel Laws and Beth Mead from Sunderland AFC’s Women’s team.

Girls from Heaton Manor School represented the Foundation against the Foundation of Light’s Harton Technology College, in a friendly match that works to break down rivalry barriers between fans of Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC.  The friendly also gave the girls involved a fantastic chance to wear their teams colours and play the game at a competitive level.

‘Building Bridges’, which is delivered across the North East partnership with Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light, tackles Derby Day violence and anti-social behaviour among the two teams  as well as educating participants on alcohol, drug, and mental issues.

Other work the programme has involved getting young children from both cities involved in fun team building exercises and classroom activities to build bridges and bonds between the two groups, supported by respected members of Northumbria’s own dedicated police force.

Newcastle United Foundation Senior Project Co-ordinator, Lisa Bell, said: “It’s been brilliant to host a girls friendly incorporating Building Bridges.  It’s so important that we encourage as many girls as possible to play sport and even better that we have been able to ensure that these young people are educated about the importance of friendly rivalry.”

Premier League Girls Football is supported by Premier League, FA and Sport England.  Building Bridges is funded by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner. 

For more information on Women and Girls Football or Building Bridges email

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