West Ham host Lycamobile Cup
PUBLISHED: 15:06 15 May 2015 | UPDATED: 15:06 15 May 2015
Local children get chance to play at Boleyn Ground
The second annual Lycamobile Cup takes place at West Ham United’s Boleyn Ground on Sunday (May 17).
The event, now in its second year, supports the West Ham United Foundation and grassroots community football and was launched in December by Hammers’ duo Carlton Cole and Joey O’Brien.
Sunday is the culmination of four regional heats to decide the local champions in one final showdown.
The Lycamobile Cup forms part of the longstanding relationship between Lycamobile, the world’s biggest international mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), and West Ham United.
Less than 24 hours after the Hammers’ final home Barclays Premier League fixture of the season against Everton, local kids will take to the hallowed turf to battle it out for silverware in an under-12s and under-14s tournament.
As recently as March it was announced that Lycamobile would continue as the club’s official partner for the next three years and the new deal will see the MVNO support the move to West Ham’s new Stadium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the club’s first two seasons there.
West Ham United Foundation patron Matt Jarvis applauded the initiative, one that has most certainly captured the imagination of the local community.
“For all the youngsters involved, it’s a taste of the big time,” said Jarvis.
“Local kids playing at the home of their local club, it’s a great scheme.
“I’ve seen a lot of the excellent work the West Ham United Foundation is doing this year and this is obviously a very exciting end to the season for them.
“It’s great to see a big community-driven organisation like Lycamobile getting involved at this level and giving the local kids something to really shout about.”
Subaskaran Allirajah, chairman of Lycamobile, added: “We have a very strong relationship with West Ham United and its local community, so to support the West Ham Foundation and create the Lycamobile Cup is a great legacy for us.
“Keeping youngsters engaged outside of home and school ensures the best possible future for them and organised sport like the Lycamobile Cup is a fantastic way to achieve this.”
Academy graduate and young Hammer of the Year Reece Burke knows exactly how special it is to run out at the Boleyn Ground, having made his first-team bow in the Capital One Cup back in August 2014.
“I was lucky enough to make my senior debut at the Boleyn Ground this season, but even as a Develpopment Squad player, it was a massive deal for us to play there,” the 18-year-old said.
“They were exciting occasions and it definitely lifted us as a group. So for these lucky local kids, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and I’m sure they’ll always remember it.”
The West Ham United Foundation’s mission is simple; to promote health and wellbeing through community participation in sports, tackle exclusion and poverty and advance the education of children and young people.