In the second instalment of a three-fold series, ICT Channel partners united for The Big Goal’s Northern Regional Finals tournament last Friday. Vapour’s five-a-side team, captained by CEO Tim Mercer, took to Sunderland’s Beacon of Light for the occasion.

The event, sponsored by Foundation of Light, saw 10 teams go head-to-head for the winning title — including headline sponsor Giacom, ANS Group, Sky Business, Daisy Corporate Services, Firstcom Europe Ltd, PXC and Elite Group. 

Despite a gripping game against Giacom, Vapour missed the chance to compete in the knockout stage, where semi-finalists Daisy Corporate Services and Firstcom Europe Ltd., and finalists PXC and Elite Group, battled for glory. Ultimately, it was a ‘last gasp’ goal, leading to a dramatic 5-4 victory, that saw Elite Group reign as the champions.

PXC’s performance didn’t go unnoticed, however, as Darren McKnight took home the Golden Boot trophy, for scoring an incredible 20 goals on the day. Giacom’s Giacommanders also secured the Fair Play team award for their stellar performance.

“We were gutted to have not qualified, but all was not lost,” says Tim. “Supporting The Big Goal is about more than enjoying a kick about. Off the pitch, we’re helping to provide better opportunities for homeless and disadvantaged youth in the local community.

“Through the nationally acclaimed Street Soccer Academy programme, we’re sponsoring a local professional football club community organisation as part of the Autumn intake. Whether it’s sharing CV-writing tips and supporting employability skills or offering shadowing opportunities with our seasoned tech professionals, we're committed to equipping individuals with the tools and support they need to confidently step into brighter futures.”

The four qualifying teams from the Northern Regionals will be joined in the Nationals Finals later this year by Southern Regional winners Focus Group United, runners up Gamma (South), and semi-finalists Vorboss and InTEC 2. The top teams from the Midlands Regionals, yet to be determined, will complete the line-up for what promises to be an exhilarating showdown at the home of England Football, St George’s Park.

Tim concludes: “The organisation of the event has been exceptional from start to finish — a far cry from what you might expect from such a fledgling initiative. And if the regional tournaments are anything to go by, the final is set to be one for the memory books. You can bet we’ll be back to do it all again next year. Although, I realised football in your 50s hurts more than you remembered in your thirties, so it’s back to golf for the time being! ” 

Head to The Big Goal’s website to learn how you can get involved.

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