WITH the closing date for entries fast approaching, the organisers of the 2013 City of Culture Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup which will take place in Londonderry and North West region from July 22nd to July 27th 2013 are looking forward to their best event ever, having received many enquiries from as far away as South Africa, Canada, America, Spain, Sweden, France and Germany.
Last year witnessed the highest ever entry of 164 youth football teams playing over 500 games across one special week, and as Londonderry celebrates 2013 as the UK’s first ever City of Culture, the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup looks certain to surpass this figure.
The format and structure of the Foyle Cup tournament is one which gives every participant the chance to play as much football as possible as well as experience all that the City has to offer. Teams compete across a variety of age groups – 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19 with a Ladies event as well.
Whilst there are many age categories to enter, the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup is about more than the football. Camaraderie, friendly rivalry and superb hospitality from the local population will make each team’s visit to the 2013 tournament one to remember. Whilst there will undoubtedly be a high standard of entry, the tournament is played in the Olympic spirit – ‘It is not always the winning that is important, it is the taking part.’
For tournament organiser, Michael Hutton, the 2013 tournament will be without doubt the best ever.
“Each year I am shocked by the level of interest in this event, not just from within Ireland but from all over the UK, Europe and beyond. Last year, for example we had Glentoran compete in the event for the first time and this year we are expecting at lease five Glentoran teams to compete. This entry will be supported by many other clubs from the Irish League and eircom League.”
Mr Hutton pointed to the cross community nature of the event, “The Foyle Cup brings together so many of our youth under the banner of sport – kids from the Shankill, kids from the Falls, kids from the Fountain, kids from the Bogside - kids of all colours, creeds, nationalities. Competing for the honour of playing in our final and being declared City of Culture winner 2013. Northern Ireland needs much more of this experience.”
This viewpoint is also supported by the City’s Mayor, Kevin Campbell, who in recognising that the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup has become one of the most important youth football tournaments in Europe, comments: “Taking part in sport offers many benefits for our young people. Football brings people together as players, supporters and officials working to make each match a success. Meeting other players offers our young people opportunities to learning about other cultures and to sharing what is best about Northern Ireland. The Foyle Cup does so much to promote what is good about our city and its people.”
Brian McDowell, Head of Sales and Marketing at Hughes Insurance, tournament title sponsors, expressed his company’s delight in being involved in such a magnificent, family - orientated event.
“The Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup is a tournament Derry can be proud of. Hughes Insurance is incredibly proud to be associated with a prestigious tournament that is clearly the premier youth competition in Europe. Everyone involved with the Foyle Cup – from the organisers, to the participating teams, should take credit for what has become a truly world class football tournament.
“As a local man I am immensely proud to be involved and look forward to welcoming all visiting teams to the Hughes Insurance City of Culture Foyle Cup Event in 2013.”
The Foyle Cup tournament has been supported by Derry City Council, Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, Sport N Ireland, Dept for Social Development, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Limavady BoroughCouncil, Strabane District Council, Hughes Insurance, PSNI, E&I Engineering, Brunswick Superbowl, Seagate and Derry Credit Union.
For more details about the event or to download an entry form visit the website at www.foylecup.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Latest news regularly updated at www.facebook.com/foylecupfootball.