ENGLAND legend Stuart Pearce will be putting a five-a-side team of young players from Hastings through their paces at an upcoming football tournament.
The football star, who was the manager of the Great Britain Olympic football team at the 2012 Olympics, is offering his support at the StreetGames Football Pools Fives’ South East regional final at Westway Sports Centre in London on Sunday (June 8).
The StreetGames Football Pools Fives programme, now in its second year, provides opportunities for young men and women, aged 16 to 25, from some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK to play five-a-side football and also experience volunteering, coaching and trying a range of other sports and activities.
The three teams from Active StreetGames Hastings will be competing for a place in the men’s and women’s National Final which will take place at the FA’s national football centre, St George’s Park, in September.
Mr Pearce said: “I’m delighted to be supporting the StreetGames Football Pools Fives as I’ve seen throughout my career the power of good that football can do for people from all communities.
“I’m looking forward to meeting with the players and share a bit of advice from my career with them.
“It is great to see programmes like the StreetGames Football Pools Fives reaching people who might have slipped through the net. I’m looking forward to seeing what the players can do.”
The StreetGames Football Pools Fives was launched at the start of last year and reached more than 13,000 young people, travelling across 12 cities in the UK to some of the most underprivileged and deprived communities before 16 teams and 160 competitors reached the final at St George’s Park.
Jane Ashworth OBE, chief executive of StreetGames, said: “So far all of the StreetGames Football Pools Fives events have been packed full of fantastic football and enthusiasm.
“We expect London to be the same and are working hard, alongside The Football Pools, to it’s a fantastic event.
“To have the support of Stuart Pearce, a true football legend, is a privilege for the programme.
“I’m sure the young people will be excited to meet him given his standing in the game.”