Leicestershire organisation aims to kick start humanitarian aid efforts with football tournament

By Adam Dutton

Orphans in Yemen will benefit from a football tournament in Leicestershire being run by a charity trust.

Yemen has been in crisis after a civil war broke out in March, 2015, with more than 60,000 people reportedly killed there in the last two years.

The Darul Arqam Educational Trust has been operational for seven years, however, its aid efforts have been small scale. The Humanitarian Aid branch of Darul Arqam, called Revive, has recently begun its efforts to help some of the victims that the Yemen civil war has created.

Revive’s first major project is a five-a-side football tournament called Score 4 Orphans of Yemen. The main focus will be on providing relief for Yemen’s many orphans.

The figure providing momentum to Revive’s cause is Sarfraz Hussain, head of fundraising at Darul Arqam. He’s been involved in numerous humanitarian aid efforts for the past four years, but has only recently joined the Darul Arqam Trust.


Sarfraz Hussain

He said: “The football tournament that we’re doing is aiming to get a minimum of ten teams in and we’ve set a friendly target of fundraising £100 each (per team).

“We need to get the ball rolling with the support and that is to get people raising awareness about the orphans in Yemen.”

Sarfraz is no stranger to football themed charity events having held a Guinness World Record Attempt in support of the Rohingya crisis with a past charity: “We had a very large event last year with the organisation that I was with.

“I was project managing the Guinness world record attempt of the largest football match which was 109 hours, non-stop. We raised just over £30,000. The attempt was 109 hours but we failed at the colossus stage of 27 hours.”

He added: “But the main thing is that we got Rohingya back on mainstream BBC news after not being in the news for nine months.”

Explaining how far donations help, he said: “You’d be astonished about how much support is given from the simplest of figures of £20. £20 will support an orphan for a whole month. Accommodation, food and clothing.”

The Charity is planning a new Guinness World Record attempt for the longest five-a-side football match in late August.

The Score 4 Orphans of Yemen tournament is set to take place Saturday, March 23, from 11am at the Goals football centre, Wakerley Rd, Leicester, LE5 4WJ.

For more information on the tournament go to http://www.datrust.org or alternatively, you can donate to the cause via the link https://mydonate.bt.com/events/score4orphans/486447



Then, Now and Forever: Using sports memories as therapy

By Luke Norman

The way sporting memories can be used for therapy for people with dementia, depression and loneliness will be discussed at an event in Leicester next week.

Professor Martin Polley, Director of the International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC) at De Montfort University (DMU), will be chairing an event next Friday (MAR08) that was pioneered by the Sporting Memories Network.

As part of the festival of teaching week at DMU, the university will be teaming up with the Sporting Memories Network and Leicester City FC’s Community Trust to bring the Then, Now and Forever sporting memories project to students.

Leicester City and England legend Peter Shilton helped to launch the scheme and workshops have been running since December 2017 to primarily help people who were tackling dementia, depression and loneliness.

Speaking to Leicester City’s official website on January 31, club historian John Hutchinson said: “It’s been wonderful to see the responses of the people in attendance today and they really seem to enjoy the relaxed and informative atmosphere which we can provide here.”

The main intention of next Friday’s event is to introduce the project and inform students on how the sporting memories approach works.



Professor Polley said: “Having the opportunity the festival of teaching gives to bring both the sporting memories network and Leicester’s community people to campus was just too good an opportunity to miss.”

The sporting memories network describe their work as “Using images of sport and memorabilia, older people are assisted to stay connected to their friends and communities, cognitively stimulated and physically active. The volunteer led, intergenerational Sporting Memories groups help people over the age of 50 age well and remain as healthy as possible.”

The network brings together people who for health reasons will remain inactive bringing them together to chat about sport and even in some cases get involved actively themselves with activities like walking football.


Celtic fan’s view on Brendan Rodgers’ leaving to join Leicester City: ‘They have bagged themselves a great coach’

By Samuel Gill

A die-hard Celtic fan who lives and works in Leicester is gutted at the departure of manager Brendan Rodgers but believes the Foxes have made a shrewd appointment.

Bernard Chan [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Brendan Rodgers (PIC: Bernard Chan [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Rodgers was announced as the new manager of Leicester City yesterday (TUESFEB26), leaving Celtic after two and a half years.

Celtic supporter Chris Johnston said: “I’m absolutely gutted, he’s done great things. He’s fantastic.”

Chris meets frequently with other Celtic supporters to watch televised matches at Duffy’s in Leicester and said that some may see Rodgers as a traitor but for him that is not the case.

“A lot of supporters feel like he’s a traitor, I don’t think that personally but it does leave a bad taste when the treble-treble was still on,” said Chris.

Despite being disappointed, he admitted that Rodgers couldn’t compete on the limited budget that the Scottish champions had.

“Leicester have bagged themselves a great coach and the fact is that Rodgers can’t compete at the highest level with the limited budget Celtic have.”

Warm weather is sign of “unfolding ecological crisis” says Extinction Rebellion Leicester

By Emily Rooney

The recent wave of warm weather that has seen February temperature records broken across the country is a sign to mankind that we need to act to save the planet, according to a Leicester campaign group.

Over the last week, Leicester has seen plenty of sun, with temperatures reaching highs of 15-17 degrees Celsius in the day and lows of around 7 degrees at night.

This is in complete contrast to last year, when the “Beast from the East” swept across the UK and brought the country to a standstill.


Last year’s ‘Beast from the East’ weather as seen from a garden overlooking Brocks Hill Park.


The contrast a year later with the Mill Lane bridge over the River Soar basking in sun

Extinction Rebellion, an international climate change protest group which is lobbying the government to recognise that the world is in the midst of an “ecological crisis”, also has a chapter in Leicester.

Leicester Extinction Rebellion said: “This week we’ve broken two temperature records within a day of each other. The 20 hottest years on record have all happened within the past 22 years; the 5 hottest were the last 5.

“This is an indicator of climate change, the canary in the coal mine so to speak. On top of this, we have an unfolding ecological crisis. We’re facing an unprecedented global emergency.

“It is time to tell the truth and act like the truth is real.

“Extinction Rebellion Leicester have been instrumental in getting Leicester City Council to declare a ‘climate emergency’ but we need national government to take drastic and radical steps.

“The IPCC has said we must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid catastrophe. To continue on as business as usual will condemn us all to a very bleak near future.”

Weather experts say the UK’s unusually warm February weather is blowing in from Africa and the Canary Isles, causing higher temperatures when combined with the late winter sun.

However, some are doubtful that this is the only reason for the unseasonable temperatures.

Caroline Lucas, former Green Party leader, said: “It is impossible to shake the feeling that this isn’t right.”

And E3G, a climate change think tank, observed that temperatures are “twice what they would normally be at this time of year.”

Environmentalists say this temperature shift is a clear sign of global warming, which could have a widespread effect on the planet, destroying habitats and ecosystems.

Leicester City fans react to appointment of new manager Brendan Rodgers

By Oliver Taylor and Luke Pawley


Former Liverpool and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was named as manager of Leicester City yesterday (TUESFEB26).

The news was music to the ears of many Leicester supporters, who are rejoicing in new leadership following the departure of former manager Claude Puel.

Rodgers watched from the directors’ box as Leicester picked up a 2-1 victory against Brighton & Hove Albion FC just hours after he was appointed, and fans in the city centre the following day were delighted with the news.

“He did excellently at Celtic and I’m surprised he left,” said Leicester fan Richard. “He did all he could there, he won various trophies and now he can really help bring some excitement back to the King Power Stadium. Some excitement for the fans.

“I’ve been going for the last couple of years and I haven’t enjoyed it. It’s just been so boring. But with the likes of (Demarai) Gray, (James) Maddison and (Youri) Tielemans… Rodgers can get the best out of them, so I’m really excited to see what he can do for the rest of the season and moving forward into next year as well.”

Fellow supporter Jack has some slight reservations amidst his optimism regarding Leicester’s defending and whether Rodgers could only be a short-term fix for the club.

“The appointment is very good,” he said. “He’s established, he’s done well wherever he’s been. He plays attractive football and he always gets the best out of his teams. At least in an attacking sense, anyway.

“Then again, we’ve never really been the best at defending. It’s a great little appointment. Even if it’s just a short-term fix, I’m happy.”

Rodgers’ first match in charge will be on Sunday, March 3, when the Foxes travel to Watford for a 12pm kick off.