The Community Photographer
Updated: Nov 21, 2019
I was recently asked by a friend of mine if I could come and take some photographs of a community event. I asked him to tell me a little more and he put me in touch with Syed the organiser.
Simply titled the Friendly Football Game, this was ran on behalf of the elders of the Bangladeshi communities of Sunderland, Newcastle and South Tyneside as a way to honour the elders who had first integrated sport into the community when they arrived in our country.
Better still it has grown to encompass some Indian and Pakistani communities and now has a large following and is very well supported financially by the businesses in these communities who sponsor the day. My friend Brian was along providing PA systems for the commentary and after match presentation and I was asked to come and take photos.
The plan was for a short game of football played by the over 40s, followed by a full game with the younger players. Syed the organiser had originally planned this for Sunday 20th of October but as the games kicked off the heavens opened and it had to be abandoned after a short time. So it was rebooked for the week after and this time the sun did come out to support the event.
This did mean two trips for me of course and i'd offered to work totally free of charge such as I liked the spirit of the event and having been a football player myself for years have a love for the game.
Plus it was a chance to do a type of photography I'd not really tried before. I was also hindered by ordering an incorrect lens for the event which had to be returned and exchanged so I was without it on the day. In fact in fairness not a lot when to plan photography wise which gave me some great learning points.
Syed and the Elders were happy with the outcome and managed to even use a few photos I did the first visit on his posters for the rearranged fixture. It was really good to see people from their community coming together and celebrating.
Just before I left I was asked to come up myself and was given a trophy of my own for supporting the event and asked if I would return to do it again next year.