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Youngsters at Greenfield Community College score for Srebrenica

posted 24 Jun 2015, 08:22 by anna.cole@greenfieldschool.net

Students at a County Durham school scored a victory against hatred and intolerance by playing in a nationwide football tournament to mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide last week.

Teachers and students at Greenfield Community College signed up to take part in Remembering Srebrenica’s ‘8-3-7-2 Tournament’, which aimed to unite 8372 young people in 380 schools across the country to play football on the same day - Friday 5th June.

Tyler Kilburn-Robinson, one of the players gave this account of the game: “So Aycliffe Campus played Sunnydale Campus and the game ended 4-4 with goals from Cameron Cook, Jack Wood and Tyler Kilburn-Robinson.” Laim McGrath & Lewis Bolan continue the story: “In the match both teams scored 4 goals apiece, sending it to a penalty shootout where Sunnydale Campus just grabbed the win. But at the end of the day, we played to remember those who unfortunately lost their lives in the Bosnian War.”

The Greenfield students were looking forward to the game, and have been considering the meaning behind the event.  Connor Elston said “We are delighted to be part of an active memorial to remember all those involved in Srebrenica.”  Aiden Wong said “We feel it is our duty to make sure we do not forget all the pain that was caused and we hope it never happens again.”

The winning team will go into a draw to meet tournament ambassador Bosnia-Herzegovina goalkeeper Asmir Begović. The Stoke City shot-stopper is backing the tournament, which aims to encourage pupils to learn lessons from the genocide. The figure 8372 represents the number of individuals who lost their lives during the atrocity in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina in July 1995.

Rich Allison, Subject Leader for PE said the teams were excited to take part in the event. He believes that  this is an excellent opportunity to educate young people to through sport  and to encourage respect for all”.

Deputy Headteacher Stuart Dixon, supports the event wholeheartedly following assemblies last year which raised awareness of the genocide at Srebrenica. He said, “ Last year many of our students made pledges to tackle hatred and intolerance following the assemblies and we are excited to be taking part in this event which commemorates the 20th anniversary of events at Srebrenica.

Remembering Srebrenica Chairman Dr Waqar Azmi OBE said:

“In the 20th anniversary year of the Srebrenica genocide what more powerful way is there than football to unite our young people and inspire them to help kick racism, hatred and intolerance out of our society.

“We’re delighted that students at Greenfield Community School have signed up to stand united with us in remembering Srebrenica through football, learning the lessons from the past to create a better and safer future.”

Asmir Begović was himself forced to leave Bosnia as a child during the 1992-1995 conflict. He said:

"The Srebrenica genocide was the worst war crime in Europe since the Second World War. It happened 20 years ago this July in my home country of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I'm proud to support Remembering Srebrenica's 8-3-7-2 Tournament which brings young people together through football to remember the victims and survivors. It's a really powerful way to help the next generation to learn about the importance of tackling hatred and intolerance. This will help us to build a stronger society around the world."

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