Aston staff represented the UK at the recent Universities Masters' World Cup, held at Aston's Recreation Centre earlier this month.
The annual football tournament, which started in 2006, is exclusive to University staff, students and alumni. Teams from Canada, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Holland, Turkey, USA and UK battled it out on the pitch with a weekend packed full of six-a-side football games. The Aston UK team made it into Group A for the finals but unfortunately did not make it into the trophies - although they did win one for taking first place in the penalty shoot-out competition! Germany (SV Empor, Berlin) won the title, with Canada (UBC, Vancouver) taking second place.
Aston's Vice Chancellor Professor Julia King officially opened the tournament and there was excellent support from the University, with many staff going along to watch on both days.
The annual competition aims to research and promote excellence in masters’ football. All players attended a sports science symposium focusing on practice-based researched related to football. Research was also carried out through the course of the weekend by Annette Seul (a summer research assistant with Pete Reddy), who interviewed 33 players about factors influencing their decision to continue into play into middle and old age.
Psychology lecturer and Team Captain Pete Reddy commented, 'All of the matches were played in a great spirit with excellent weather and no major injuries! This was a brilliant opportunity to bring together staff, friends and former students to enjoy football and build international relationships. The event also provided a fantastic opportunity to showcase the excellent facilities at the Recreation Centre.'
The weekend raiesd over £350 for the Homeless World Cup Charity.
Next year the tournament becomes an annual over 50s event and will be held next March in Antalya, Turkey in a 5* hotel and sports complex. Perhaps some Aston staff could be persuaded to go along as supporters...
Words by Louise Russell