A team made up of attendees from Derby County Community Trust’s health programmes came out on top at a National Social Inclusion tournament held in Middlesbrough earlier this week.
The tournament, which was hosted by the MFC Foundation, was aimed to increase awareness of social inclusion projects both locally and nationally, as well as giving projects across the country an opportunity to showcase their skills.
The Derby team on the day was made up of clients from the Derby County Community Trust’s Active Supporters and Active Choices programmes, both of which focus on encouraging a healthy lifestyle and behavioural change.
Twenty teams took part in the second annual tournament, made up of sides from local Middlesbrough projects as well as club community schemes from across the country.
The day began with a group stage format, Derby were drawn against Carlisle United, Wrexham, Durham Dynamites & Lifeline.
Following a near-perfect start with a 7-0 win against Carlisle United, Derby went on to win all four of their group stage matches – conceding only one goal in the process. This saw them progress into the second phase of the competition which was another group stage featuring the top 10 teams.
Derby were drawn into Group 1, featuring last year’s winners from Everton, along with York City, Lifeline and MIND. Three straight wins maintained their winning record, however the Everton side proved to be too strong, with the match ending in a 2-0 loss. Despite the defeat, Derby managed to finish second in the group and progressed to a Semi Final meeting against the hosts Middlesbrough, who finished top of Group 2.
The Semi Final got off to a poor start, within three touches from kick off Middlesbrough were 1-0 up. However, Derby managed to put this behind them and draw level at the half way point through a well worked goal and a last minute penalty gave Derby the chance to progress to the Final, if it wasn’t for a great save from the Middlesbrough goalkeeper. The match finished 1-1 and went to a penalty shoot-out, the home goalkeeper couldn’t replicate his earlier heroics, with Derby converting all of their spot kicks to win 5-4 and look ahead to a final against Rotherham United.
Following the poor start in the previous the Semi Final, Derby made sure they remained well organised against a strong Rotherham side. The Rams broke the deadlock with an early goal, some good defending and communication across the team saw them hang on for a 1-0 win and the title.
Following the win, Derby County Community Trust’s Physical Activity & Health Advisor, Jack Bell said: “We played really well as a team throughout the day and it was great to win the trophy. The event was about much more than that though, it’s great to come here to connect with other schemes and witness the amazing work going on across the country.
“As a whole the tournament was really well organised and a joy to be a part of, a huge thank you goes out to the MFC Foundation for inviting us. We hope to come back next year to defend our crown and will definitely be inviting them to our own Social Inclusion tournament in August.”