Tournament in memory of teen

Participants with the deputy mayor Nigel Sinden and Hastings Borough Council leader Peter Chowney
Participants with the deputy mayor Nigel Sinden and Hastings Borough Council leader Peter Chowney

This year’s Hastings Intercultural Organisation football tournament took place on Sunday, October 8 at Alexandra Park.

The event was in memory of Mohammed Al-Majed – a Qatari student who died in Hastings in a racist attack in 2008.

The tournament was funded by Hastings Borough Council to promote cohesion and health among the many people in our borough.

Leader of the council Peter Chowney said: “The tournament celebrates the cultural diversity of Hastings, bringing together teams from different cultural groups, cross-cultural teams, and women’s teams too.

“In recent years, Hastings has become increasingly diverse, with 55 languages now spoken in the borough, and Hastings offering refuge and friendship to many people escaping war and turmoil in their own countries, who have settled here and helped the town’s regeneration.

“Once more, it’s an example of ‘one Hastings, many voices’, and how people from many different countries and cultures have enriched our town by making it their home.”

More than 100 players made up the 12 teams that took part, with people from many different origins including British, Bangladesh, Afghan, Kurdish, Zimbabwe, Uganda, French, Russian, Turkish, and many more.

The overall winners were Sweaty Boyz with Oddballs United finishing second in a thrilling final.

Nick, a young man from Hastings who took part in the tournament, added: “It was brilliant to play football in Alexandra Park with my friends and meet new people, the event was well organised and I can’t wait to play again next year.”

Mohammed Al-Majed was 16 years old when he died after being punched in the face and hitting the pavement on August 22, 2008.