We launched the All Nations Football programme in 2001 to provide refugee and other disenfranchised groups in London with their first experience of playing football in an organised structure. A one day festival and eight week Summer League are provided free of charge for groups that demonstrate a commitment to developing their team. Over time the programme has widened its remit to welcome participants from community groups who, for a number of reasons, have not been able to access mainstream affiliated football.
Two hundred teams from over one hundred different organisations have played in the one day tournaments and Summer Leagues, with many of them making the step up to mainstream affiliated competitions. In addition to the football competitions the programme provides teams with the opportunity to access coaching and refereeing courses so that their team members can attain qualifications enabling them to secure voluntary positions or paid employment. During the past twelve years ninety-four coaches and fifty-three referees have been funded to achieve their first qualification.
In order to assist teams to make the step up to affiliated football the London Communities Football League was established in 2003 with a league committee comprising team representatives and members of the programme Steering Group. The league plays its matches on Sunday at Douglas Eyre Sports Centre.