Ahmed Faid and Jesse Ndjeka have been campaigning tirelessly to save the only free 11-a-side pitch in Islington. Supported by CYP Senior Youth Worker Stephen Griffith, a LAST-ditch attempt to persuade the Town Hall to keep a full-sized football pitch in Barnard Park was made by young people around the Cally.
The controversial bid to reduce the size of the 11-a-side pitch by 70 per cent as part of a redesign of the park has been reversed for now! Last summer, councillors deferred making a decision over fears that too much space was being taken away from sporting use in Islington Council’s plan.
The plea from young people around the area was supported by a petition with over 700 signatures. Ahmed Faid, who recently made a film about the issue, told us that his peers were simply not aware of the plan, and so had not objected to it. Ahmed Faid said “For me, it’s crazy to reduce the size of the pitch, Anyone who wants to use it can use it for free. There are 100 kids out there training some days, and that’s in winter.”
Young people from CYP including Ahmed, received funding to hold three public meetings around the Barnsbury and Bemerton estates to raise awareness of the pitch reduction. Thanks to the CYP community, and hard work from our young people, the pitch has been saved! Unfortunately, this is only a short term solution, we await further discussions at a later date.