Year 12 pupil and keen footballer Louis J told the Press Office about his recent fundraiser for the Angus Irvine Playing Fields Fund.
Having grown up playing football in Oxfordshire, in particular playing for Oxford City FC for five years a stone’s throw from Blackbird Leys, I know what a difference playing sport can make. I’ve seen first-hand the importance football plays in people’s lives, giving them focus, friendships and self-esteem, as it certainly did for me.
The Playing Fields Legacy Fund was a charity established by the late Angus Irvine in 2012, prompted by what he felt was a failure of the 2012 London Olympics to provide the promised legacy for grassroots sport.
Over a period of five years, the charity – led by Angus – raised hundreds of thousands of pounds and invested the funds into vital facilities for scores of local sports clubs, including clubs in East Oxford.
Fundamental to the way Angus ran the fund was a passion for maximizing resources for grassroots sport, helping volunteers develop community sports facilities, and enabling team sports to reach many more deprived young people who might otherwise be attracted by gangs or anti-social behaviour.
Sadly, Angus passed away in 2015, but since his death the work has continued, led by the committed trustees of the charity and by his children and grandchildren.
In order to raise funds for the Playing Fields Legacy Fund I ran an inter-House, five-a-side tournament in the garden of my boarding House. 16 Houses participated in the tournament during which two 15-minute games were played each night, for nine days, culminating in a final between IRS and PAH. IRS took the trophy after a nail-biting final, with the winning goal scored in extra time.
I would like to thank my House Master, Mr Dangerfield, for supporting my fundraising initiative, and my Dame, Miss Young, and Assistant Dame, Mrs Kaminska, for umpiring and helping the games run smoothly.
Thank you also to all those who have donated money and supported this tournament. I had the privilege of knowing Angus Irvine when I was growing up and know how delighted he would have been that his work is carrying on, which makes me all the more passionate about the charity. Thank you for joining me in continuing his legacy by raising over £2,200 in his honour.