An update on ESCF UK 9th Sport and Culture Festival
13 & 14 July 2019

To all the attendees of the recently held 9th annual Ethiopian Sports and Culture Festival at Barn Elms Sport Centre,

I hope that you had a great time and enjoyed the festival. It was heartening to see so many members of our community attend in good numbers, despite some of the challenges, including a new location, transportation issues as a result of the closure of Hammersmith Bridge, and the lack of music due to licensing issues out of our control. The great attendance numbers on both days showed to us how much everyone looks forward to the festival, and ESCFUK always appreciates this commitment.

Again, we apologise for the lack of music at this year’s event, but I’m sure everyone can understand that it was as a result of decisions beyond our power. Whilst we are disappointed at the decision taken, ESCFUK is currently pursuing legal advice to get redress for the inconvenience caused and will update you all as soon as we have further progress.

Despite this, the event was a successfully on many fronts including in the variety of activities, public participation and a broad representation from all parts of the community.

As ESCFUk strongly believes that the youth should be the primary beneficiaries of the event,13 football teams have competed in this year’s event tournament and I am happy to again congratulate the IQRA Foundation Football Team for winning the 2019 tournament.

The various competitions, such as football and athletics help young Ethiopians meet, play and have fun with each other, develop further skills and talent and most of all learn the spirit of sport – tolerance and peaceful engagement with others with no qualms over losing. The children’s athletics event was also a highlight of the event, where parents and supporters cheered the little ones and encouraged them to the finish line.

In summary, we had:

• 8 food stalls and 16 different non-food stalls
• 13 football team played over two days
• About 500 children participated both days
• About 2500 people participated both days
• No injuries
• No major incidents

On behalf of ESCF UK, I would like to express my appreciation members of the Ethiopian Sports and Culture Federation in the UK who organise and run this event not only on a voluntary basis, but through contributing their own funds to ensure everything is ready and in order for the event.

Additionally, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the following:

•All volunteers who sacrificed their time, money and energy for the success of the event;
•H.E. Ambassador Fisseha Shawel and diplomats of the Ethiopian Embassy, and the Mayor of Wandsworth, for attending our event as Guests of Honour;
•All of our sponsors, in particular our main sponsor, Ethiopian Airlines, for not only sponsoring us every year, but increasing its contribution this year through the special offer with every ticket purchased;
•All football teams for showing interest and participating every year – it was particularly heartening to see many new teams this year, and we look forward to seeing more next year;
•All stall holders
•All support teams, especially the Security and Cleaning teams for providing seamless service for the event and community

ESCFUK objectives are to use sports and culture to develop a healthy, confident and entrepreneurial community. The Federation is a registered non-for-profit Community Interest Company. It is an impartial and non-political organisation for our community here in UK.

We aim to:
•Celebrate our achievements in every walk of life;
• Build up a healthy community with active participation in sports, culture and business; and,
•Create bridges between families and between our community and the wider society.

ESCFUK has now got the hard work under way for next year’s 10th anniversary, a real milestone, and as always we welcome additional support and volunteers to help organise the event and help meet our objectives above, so if you are interested in becoming a member, please do join us.

We would like to thank you again for coming to the event and we wish you all happy Ethiopian New Year and best wishes for the upcoming year.

Yours truly,

Kassa Tadesse

CEO ESCF UK September 2019

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