Unite Through Football

Unforgettable Finale: Unite Through Football: Refugee 23/24 League Ends with Thrilling Final

A look back on an incredible finish

Monday, June 10th, marked a remarkable conclusion to the 23/24 Unite Through Football: Refugee League's season, a program that has united individuals through the universal language of football.

This initiative, supported by SBHL, saw its final fixture week of the current season end in the most dramatic fashion possible—with a nail-biting penalty shootout.

A Season to Remember – and to Build On

Rob Bryant, Senior Football Development Officer, said: “The Unite Through Football: Refugee project has been more than just a series of monthly tournaments. It has been a powerful testament to the unifying power of sport. Throughout the season, players from diverse backgrounds have come together on the football pitch regardless of language they speak, or country they are from. The league has not only provided a platform for competition but has also fostered friendships, built bridges between communities, and offered a sense of belonging to many who have faced unimaginable hardships and complex pasts.”

The Grand Finale

The final match of the 23/24 season was a spectacle to behold. After a competitive league format, both teams in the final teams displayed exceptional skill, determination, and sportsmanship, embodying the spirit of the league. The game was intense, with both sides battling fiercely, leading to a deadlock that could only be broken by the penalty shootout. Spectators were on fine form and added to a fantastic atmosphere as each player took their turn. In the end, it was a moment of pure joy for the winners, and respect and admiration among all participants.

Celebrating a Special Project

Leah Hidden, Equality Diversity and Inclusion Manager, said: “The success of this league is a testament to the collaborative efforts of many individuals and organisations. A special thanks goes to everyone at SBHL, whose dedication and hard work have been the backbone of this initiative. Their commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive environment has been pivotal to the success of this project. The Chelsea Football Foundation deserves immense gratitude for their unwavering support. Their involvement has provided invaluable resources and mentorship, helping to elevate the  quality of the provision and reach of the women’s sessions.”

In addition, Simon Roe Photography has captured the journey of this league in stunning visuals, allowing us to preserve and share these inspiring moments. The images taken by Simon have brought the league's story to life, offering a window into the joy and passion that have defined this season.

A big thank you is also owed to James and Abi, our talented videographers, whose work behind the camera has been instrumental in documenting the league’s highlights. James and Abi's videos have not only chronicled the matches but have also conveyed the emotions and stories of the players, making the league accessible to a wider audience.

Looking Ahead

While this season has come to an end, the spirit of Unite Through Football: Refugee League lives on. The friendships forged, the skills developed, and the memories created will have a lasting impact on everyone involved. As we look forward to the next season, there is a shared sense of excitement and anticipation for what lies ahead.

In conclusion, the Unite Through Football: Refugee League has been a shining example of how sport can transcend barriers and bring people together. As we celebrate the end of an extraordinary season, we remain committed to continuing this journey of unity, resilience, and joy through football.

Stay tuned for more updates and highlights, and let's keep the spirit of football alive!