Legion uses football to help recruit youngsters

The%20Poppy%20Match%2C%20The%20Royal%20British%20LegionThe Royal British Legion is aiming to encourage younger supporters through a major charity football tournament. The Poppy Match, a series of 30-a-side football matches, will take place on February 23.

The event, which has been created by sports marketing agency Limelight Sports, breaks traditional football rules by having 30 men and five balls on the pitch at a time.

The matches will be played on five oversized football pitches that have been divided into five horizontal zones. Each zone will have 12 players, who have to stay in their allotted area, but must try to push the ball towards their goals – which are at either end of the pitch – to score. There will be 20 matches played over the course of the day.

The Poppy Match was inspired by the matches that took place between the British and German troops on Christmas Eve in World War One.

Limelight business development director Andy Anstey says: “This event is unique. We did not want to do a run or a swim as there are a lot of those types of mass participation events.”

The agency has been working with the British Legion, which supports serving and ex-servicemen communities and their families, for a year. Cascaid, a charity marketing agency, is developing a marketing campaign to raise awareness of the event.

Limelight also works with Nike, Transport for London and Comic Relief and has organised the London Youth Games for the past 20 years.

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