Tottenham uses sport to rebuild, but cuts biting

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Tottenham uses sport to rebuild, but cuts biting

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It is a year since riots that began in Tottenham ripped apart London. The area, one of the poorest in the British capital, still suffers from many problems, but positive steps are being taken, and this being an olympic year, many are sports-based.

More than 50 million euros in redevelopment has been promised, and the local premier league football team is getting involved and may build a new ground there soon, but there are as many problems as solutions being put forward.

“There’s no one specific thing you can say should be done. I mean, it entails a lot of different things. This is a step up, this is one big thing we’ve done. And a lot of people from the community come in, a lot of young people come in, utilise their summer time, their breaks and holidays, and it’s something good for them to do, it allows them to have some kind of outlet,” says a volunteer for the Skills project, jointly run between Haringey council, Tottenham Hotspur FC, and the London Boxing Academy.

“Within Tottenham over recent years amongst young people, particularly young men, there’s been an element… a lack of hope and a lack of recognition that this society holds something for them in the future. And I think projects such as “Skills” can actually combat that belief,” says academy founder Chris Hall.

However cuts in government housing and family benefits in the pipeline mean more misery is on the horizon as rents rise and the poorest are forced out, or into substandard housing, with cases of unscrupulous landlords letting garages and outbuildings to families.