Arsenal Forest: Neem Cup Winners! | Consistency | news

The football teams we support in Kenya, the War Lions and War Lions, took part in the region's annual Neem Cup competition last week – and came close to doubling up!

The tournament not only promotes football but also tree planting which takes place throughout the tournament along with the action on the pitch.

In the men's competition, the War Lions drew 0-0 with Zamalek, meaning they finished second behind Boda Boda United.

After the men's competitions, tree planting was suspended to educate the youth on the importance of planting new trees in the area. Over 1,500 saplings were planted in and around Arsenal Forest during the tournament.

Later in the evening the women's match took place and an own goal and a sweet free kick by Pento Jefwa saw Singwaya Ladies win 2-0 to clinch the trophy for our Battle Lion.

The Neem Cup is getting bigger every year, partly due to the close ties the competition has with Arsenal Football Club. Every year there is more community involvement and associated neem planting. This is a material lesson on how to promote “prestige by association” to facilitate impact on sustainability.

In fact, the organizers are planning to expand the cup and include an under-19 competition at the next tournament – we'd better get some more kit out!

shirt on tour

After Site Supervisor Alex returned home from his trip to the UK, we like to think we helped motivate the teams as the Arsenal Forest community in the war zone is still buzzing. Emirates Stadium and his trip to Highbury.

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Indeed, the VIP tour went back to our first team signed shirt battle as various members of the Arsenal Forest squad posed for pictures and admired the priceless signatures of players who are now heroes in the area. From Kenya.

Alex's brand new coat is also popular for photography – and it certainly comes in handy on cold equatorial nights.

The pride of everyone associated with the Arsenal Forest was palpable when listening to Alex's account of how much everyone in the battle means to everyone in North London, where they are very much part of the Arsenal family.

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