Brexit Britain faces 5 to 10 year COVID recovery, Sorrell says

The Telegraph

Dele Alli draws on own experiences as he backs the Telegraph’s Keep Kids Active campaign

Dele Alli used to rely on favours from his local boys’ club and the older friends he made through football to get through what was a tough upbringing in the Bradwell area of Milton Keynes. And it is with the hand-me-down boots and waived training fees in mind that Tottenham Hotspur star Dele has backed the Telegraph campaign to Keep Kids Active in Lockdown. Dele’s difficult home life has been well documented and is not something the 24-year-old likes to dwell on, but he has made no secret of the fact that, for him, football and sport was an escape from the financial restraints and social difficulties that were part of his childhood. Since joining Spurs and playing for England, Dele has remained mindful of the need to support children who may need sport as an anchor in their lives. He helped to launch the Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League, run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Haringey Council, that would normally give under-14 teams a chance to play every Friday night in the shadow of the new Spurs stadium. The league, like thousands of sports clubs in England, has been forced to shut because of Government coronavirus restrictics and Dele spoke out in support of the Telegraph’s campaign to reopen children’s sport. Dele said: “Sport is an escape for most people, from whatever they are dealing with in their daily lives, and helps you physically and mentally. For kids, I also think it can be important for social development and friendships. A lot of my friends now are friends I made when I was playing football as a kid.” In an interview with Telegraph Sport two years ago, Dele detailed just how important local clubs, coaches and team-mates had been to him during his early years. Dele could take little for granted – particularly money – and, describing how he got into football, the attacking midfielder said: “From under-nine to under-11, I played in a Sunday league. Before that, there was this scheme where you had to pay £1 to train and I used to do that. But I wasn’t able to pay it and in the end they let me do it for free.” When it was put to Dele that money must have been incredibly tight, he added: “It was. When you come from where I came from, there were a lot more important things to spend a pound on than football training. Obviously, for me at the time, I thought it was all that mattered. “But for families who are struggling, it’s not the case. They need a lot of support. But when you are nine or 10, maybe the vision of your parents isn’t the same as what it is for you. “There is a lot of pressure on the parents with a kid who wants to become a professional footballer. There is a lot of responsibility, having to drive them around everywhere.” Asked which football boots he wore during his formative years, Dele added: “I thought they were nice! I was lucky. When I was young, I had quite big feet, so the older lads in the area used to give me their hand-me-down boots. They looked after me.” Dele’s support for the Telegraph campaign comes after head coach Jose Mourinho and striker Harry Kane both agreed to become signatories and spoke out in support of the need to keep children active. This is the second weekend that sports clubs have not been allowed to open their doors to children and England captain Kane said: “It’s so important for children to keep active during these tough times as exercise helps keep the body and mind healthy. “Children love playing outside, so the sooner we can get them back out in a safe environment the better.” Mourinho last week gave his unequivocal backing to the campaign by saying: “Put my name on it, yes, put my name on it. I can feel lots of contradictions, lots of contradictions in decisions, not in England, around the world. Almost in every country, there are lots of contradictions. “And this is a cause that I feel really, really on the kids’ side, on the kids’ parents side. I understand perfectly, it is one of the situations where it should be done in a different way.”

Source link

Add a Comment