Five Glasgow teenagers are jetting off to Belgium tomorrow (March 31) to take part in an international soccer challenge.

The young people from across the city will compete against teams from around the world during SHOOT International. They earned the all expenses paid trip while taking part in diversionary five-a-side football organised by Glasgow and Community Safety Services (GCSS).

Antwerp is celebrating being crowned European Youth Capital of the Year and the trip will be funded by the Belgian city and JES, a non profit making organisation which supports youth development.

The Glasgow team is sponsored by Ultimate Soccer which provided their kits. The teenagers will be accompanied by Tam McBride, a development worker with GCSS.

GCSS runs diversionary evening activities such as football, DJing and basketball in communities across Glasgow. The events encourage young people to channel their energies in positive directions, pursue their ambitions and avoid antisocial behaviour.

The team will leave Glasgow tomorrow, flying to London then to Belgium. During their four day trip the teenagers will tour Antwerp and take part in DJing workshops and social events before competing in the soccer challenge.

Jordan Slaven (aged 18) of Townhead, Glasgow, is excited about meeting the other teams including those from Riga, Rotterdam, Birmingham and Gdansk.

He said: “I’ve never been to Belgium before and I’m really looking forward to meeting new people and learning about different cultures.
“I volunteer at a youth club in Townhead and want to become a youth worker. I’ve applied for a job in Parkhead and have also applied to do my training at college. I got help from a youth worker when I was younger and ever since I’ve wanted to do that job and help other young folk.”

Members of the Glasgow team come from across the city and didn’t know each other before they were selected for SHOOT International. They are Jamie Taylor (aged 18); Kyle Ross (aged 16) of Springburn, Chris Donohue (aged 18) of Milton and Corey Quinn (17) of Sandyhills.

Jamie from Drumchapel said: “I can’t wait for the trip – I’m really looking forward to it. I volunteer with the Prince’s Trust and you really see the difference in young people after they’ve been away on a residential trip like this. Experiencing new cultures can really change someone and give them new skills. I’m hoping to go to college and study social care.”

Councillor Jim Coleman, Chair of Glasgow Community & Safety Services, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the young people heading to Antwerp. I’m sure they’ll have a fantastic trip and the experience will broaden their horizons. Travel can inspire and motivate people to pursue their dreams and ambitions.

“I’m sure this trip will be no different. I wish the Glasgow team every success in the competition and hope this trip will show other young people what they can achieve if they set their minds to it.”