Sunderland take on Newcastle – in all-girls tournament

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Sunderland took on Newcastle in a derby day with a difference.

More than 40 young female footballers representing SAFC and Newcastle United Foundation and took to the pitch for a Girls’ Football Tournament.

The teams, made up of youngsters aged 14-16 who have been taking part in the Premier League Girls Programme, played as part of the Building Bridges project, which helps tackle crime and antisocial behaviour between young fans.

Taking part at Gateshead Stadium were teams from Biddick Academy and Farringdon Community Academy on Wearside, as well as Churchill Community College, John Spence Community College and St Benet Biscop.

Helen Byrne, Women and Girls’ Football Development Officer at Foundation of Light, said: “The Building Bridges programme has allowed us to create even more opportunities for young people, who support Newcastle and Sunderland, to come together in friendly competition, test their skills and make new friends.

“They may support different teams, but they all love football.”

The Premier League Girls Programme aims to engage young women in football by providing opportunities for them to learn, play and, in some cases, progress into coaching and officiating.

Launched in 2013, Building Bridges is backed by the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird and engages teenagers from Wearside and Tyneside in a range of activities and workshops focusing on football-related rivalries.

John Spence Community College were declared the winners.