Football fundraiser in Bournemouth raises cash for children in Syria

Bournemouth Echo: ON TARGET: Terry Ali organised the  six-a-side football tournament at the Littledown Centre in Bournemouth to raise money for the Syria Appeal ON TARGET: Terry Ali organised the six-a-side football tournament at the Littledown Centre in Bournemouth to raise money for the Syria Appeal

MORE than 100 footballers descended on Bournemouth to compete in a charity football tournament.

Organised by taxi driver Terry Ali and his nephews Masum Ali, Parvis Ali and Anas Choudhury, teams from as far as Luton and Swindon travelled down to compete in the event.

“I wanted to do something to raise money to help children in Syria and Parvis said we should do a football tournament,” Mr Ali explained.

The 46-year-old added: “We wanted to do something that everyone could get involved with and we knew a football tournament would appeal to the younger generation.”

In total 19 teams competed in the six-aside tournament after Mr Ali and his nephews spread the word with friends and family.

“Two weeks ago we were struggling to get 12 but we ended up with 19, which was great,” Mr Ali said.

“It was mostly members of the Bangladeshi community,” he added.

The event raised more than £1,500, which will be donated to Hand In Hand For Syria, a charity that provides aid to Syrians affected by the conflict.

But Mr Ali, who has previously held fundraisers to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, said he hoped to raise thousands more.

“Our goal is to raise about £15,000,” he said.

“We’re hoping to hold an 11-aside football tournament and we’re looking to do a dinner function as well.”

The tournament, which took place at Littledown Leisure Centre, was supported by Dorset Race Equality, which supplied a marquee, water and fruit throughout the day.

Mr Ali, who lives in Southbourne, said: “It was a great tournament.

“The weather let us down a bit but otherwise everyone said they enjoyed it.

“We’re looking forward to the next one.”

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