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  1. Christmas Cheer for Chigoli – Our Brixton Tournament is back!

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    When it comes to spreading Christmas cheer we try to do our bit here at 5aside.org. For us, this time of year is all about mulled wine, mince pies and hosting our Charity Christmas Tournament. To avoid adding to the disappointment that has been 2016, we’re back in action with a tournament taking place at Brixton Ferndale Centre on Sunday 18th December. Details on how to enter the tournament can be found at the end of this article.

    As always with our Christmas Tournament, all proceeds raised will be going to charity. This year we have decided to partner with Chigoli, an organisation using football to offer children a pathway into education in Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries. We spoke to co-founder George Maguire to see exactly how they are using the beautiful game to make a huge difference to young people’s lives.

    ‘Chigoli Academy stands on three pillars – Advanced Football Coaching, Education and Character Development.

    Chigoli means ‘goal’ in the main traditional language in Malawi, Chichewa. Malawi is the poorest country in the world per capita where the majority of the population are trapped in cycles of poverty and where less than 12% of children finish secondary school. 10% of the population live with HIV. There is a chronic lack of decent youth football development structures across the country and no recognisable youth leagues below U15 or at U17.

    Chigoli identifies talented young boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14 from across Malawi and works with them in a holistic, player centered Academy environment through which role models for future generations shall be created. 95% of Chigoli Academy players come from backgrounds of poverty with many of their families living well below the poverty line. 

    Chigoli focuses on creating actual development for those whose talent deserves opportunity. In practice this requires significant investment into players lives, in order for them to have the ability to fulfil their potential to enter careers in professional football or continued education on athlete scholarships.

    In addition to the Academy, Chigoli operates a vibrant community programme supporting disadvantaged groups in Malawi through football tournaments including street children, the blind, refugees and both girls and boys. Plans are currently being implemented to create a network satellite feeder teams across the Central Region of Malawi to bring more children under the Chigoli umbrella at grass roots level and also increase Chigoli’s scouting reach.

    The Chigoli Community Programme engages with over 2,500 children in Malawi each year and for those who display academic or footballing potential offers life changing pathways to previously unattainable opportunities.

    Features of Chigoli Academy:

    – Malawi’s most advanced and innovative youth coaching programme

    – Private school scholarships until the end of secondary school for players

    – Proven character development programme

    – Nutritional and medical support

     Ways to support:

    1. Through donating on our website –¬†www.chigoli.org (Paypal Donate)
    2. Supporting our crowd funding drive –¬†www.tifosy.com/campaigns/helping-create-pathways-out-of-poverty
    3. Joining our mailing list or following/liking on social media – @chigolimw


    George Maguire

    Co-Founder
    Chigoli’

    Our Brixton Tournament will be supporting this fantastic cause when it takes place on Sunday 18th December at Brixton Ferndale Centre.  Full details on the venue can be seen here. The day will be kicking off from 13.00, running through group and knock-out stages to finish at about 17.00. Team entry will cost £60, with entertainment taking place throughout the afternoon, along with a raffle. All teams will get a minimum of 4 games.

    In order to register please complete the online form found at this link.

    If you’d like any more details about the day, or are able to offer us any¬†donations of raffle prizes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via info@5aside.org.

    See you all in Brixton on December 18th!