03 April 2013
A murdered teenager’s school is using football to tackle “postcode” gang rivalry.
Fears have been raised over increased gang activity in Pimlico leading up to the stabbing of Hani Abou El Kheir, 16, who was attacked by a mob armed with swords and knives.
As many as 10 people chased and surrounded the teenager, who died after suffering multiple stab wounds in January. Four men have been charged with murder and remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on April 26.
Westminster council revealed violence had soared in the area before Hani was killed. Now the Greenhouse educational charity is working with staff at his school, Pimlico Academy, bringing in former professionals to act as role models and mentors to address the issue of gangs through sport.
The school is holding a two-day football tournament, finishing today, to encourage youngsters to befriend children from other areas and channel their energies away from drugs and gangs.
Greenhouse coach Leonard Smith said: “Football is a great way to bring people together. Postcode rivalry and problems with gangs is an issue for many youngsters. But my Pimlico players have met and made friends with young people they wouldn’t normally mix with or would be worried about approaching outside of the pitch.”