Football helps young people respect healthy relationships

01 August 2014

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Around 50 young people under the age of 15 attended a five-a-side football tournament in support of a nationwide campaign to tackle domestic abuse and promote healthy relationships at Woking Hockey Club earlier this week (Monday 28 July 2014).

The tournament in which participation was free, was organised by Woking Borough Council, Reflex Woking and Your Sanctuary, and included teams from Woking and across the county. The sporty young people enjoyed competitive, but friendly, football with girls and boys competing in an U10 Girls and U14 Boys competition.

Many of the girls who played in the event had successfully represented Woking at the Surrey Youth Games and had only begun playing football following taster sessions earlier this year. They are now part of local junior club, Meadow Sports FC.

Every young person taking part took home a certificate and a Your Sanctuary t-shirt.

There was also the chance to find out more about healthy relationships at workshops, delivered by a representative from Reflex in conjunction with Your Sanctuary and attended by all participants before the football kicked off.

Woking Borough Council's Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, said: "Sadly, we hear all too often in the news of the dangers and complexities faced by young people when developing relationships. Understanding clearly what is a healthy, respectful and trusting relationship is important for young people's development and may prevent them from vulnerable situations.

"By delivering these messages with Reflex Woking and Your Sanctuary in an engaging, relaxed and informal way, we hope that those who attended, both boys and girls, take with them these vital life experiences to enable them to make the right choices in their future relationships."

Your Sanctuary works to prevent domestic abuse and undo the damage it does to individuals, families and communities.

This event kick started the Xtreme Fun summer programme of positive activities for young people across Woking throughout the summer. Copies of the programme are available from the Civic Offices, the Council's website or by contacting Woking Borough Council's Children and Young People Development Officer, Danielle Towner at or call 01483 743775.

For further information about the event, please contact Matthew Glazier, Woking Borough Council's Sports Development Officer on 01483 743804 or email

Alternatively, for domestic abuse and healthy relationships information, please visit