Story: Farhan Ahmed | Photos: Fagr Al-Afif
I spoke with Youth Worker Omer Mohammed who, with Imran Ali, runs football sessions every week. Omer stated: “I have been delivering this evening football session for about five years now. Sheffield Futures, who I work for, and Activity Sheffield, that Imran works for, have joined resources to run these sessions.”
Over 40 young people gathered at the Fir Vale pitch ranging from ages 8 to18 with people from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. It was inspiring to see the great enjoyment participants obviously got from football. I had to drag some players out from games and was lucky enough to get 5 minutes of their precious time to speak to them.
“Football is an alternative to the streets. As we’re at a young age we prefer to do things that we enjoy, but without people bringing us to activities like this we would be on the streets,” said Khalid, from Wensley estate.
“We really love the football on Thursdays and that’s the reason why lots of people come and play with us.”
“We would really like to have proper facilities for all kinds of sports. Osgathorpe has a cricket pitch but it’s not a proper field – we have to play partially on a hill.”
Omer explained the importance of establishing positive relationships with young people and earning their trust and respect. Early intervention at a young age makes it far easier to make changes to behaviour and attitudes. He also explained how important education is for adults and youth alike.
“There are things that young people will not learn in the mainstream but will explore in informal settings such as youth centres and other local activities. It is important that children and young people have the opportunity to express themselves and have their voices heard on issues that concern them.”
To find out more contact Omer Mohammed on 07890 528 519.