An Islington- based charity is supporting young people’s physical and mental wellbeing through Futsal, a South American version of football.

Dr Miriam Bouchiba is the founder of newly registered charity The Futsal Stars Foundation.

The charity provides financial assistance to young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds so they can access Futsal and football coaching.

While working part-time as a dentist in London, Miriam encountered many young people who needed more support with their physical and mental health, especially during lockdown.

Miriam went to university London Futsal Stars with head coach Shaz Anwar and together, they came up with the idea for a foundation “for kids who wouldn’t normally be able to access sports classes outside of school hours”.

Shaz said: "We feel it is so important for children from all backgrounds to interact with one another and have equal opportunities.

"Our aim is to achieve this by working in partnership with the Futsal Stars Foundation.”

The children are mentored by coaches from London Futsal Stars, as well as local celebrity Ade Oladipo. The Sky Sports presenter helps guide young people in the foundation as he is passionate about community development and tackling social issues through sport.

The charity recently completed a 3-a-side football league in Camden and Islington, where 15 children had free access. It also has a summer holiday camp in Newhaven, where all 35 children participated for free.

Financial support from local businesses is needed to keep these events running and Shaz said: “To carry out our work and engage with target groups in the community long-term, we need sponsorship or funding.”

The foundation has the backing of parents, with one saying: "The coaching staff are friendly and approachable.

"The Futsal Stars are very understanding when it comes to my autistic son's needs, making him feel at ease and feel like one of the group".

Another said: "This kind of club is exactly what our community needs. It’s amazing to have something that is not only so well organised and so much fun for the kids but that is also free. Thank you so much to all the organisers at the Futsal Stars foundation.”

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