Football in the East Village Courtyards - E20 Football Academy



In July 2014, Jonathan Silman and myself setup the E20 Football Academy as a grassroots development program for young people in East Village. Full details and objectives below (long post alert).

Our young members have already pledged to NOT play football in the courtyards and any of our members will face a ban on training if they are not supporting the ‘E20FA’ program by playing football outside of the courtyards.

Over the next few months we will be regularly visiting the courtyards representing ‘E20 Football Academy’ to see if any of our young members are playing ball games in the courtyards, they will be offered membership and asked to take balls into Victory Park.

(Further we ask all young members to mentor their brothers, sisters and friends to respect their neighbours, shrubs and environment and also keep noise to a minimum — which is the tricky task!).

Please do let us know if football is a problem in your courtyard and which plot you live. ie. N01, N02, N03 etc.

Thank you for your support!

@Lee & @Jonathan_Silman
E20 Football Academy
A division of ‘E20 Community & Cultural Interest Organisation’ (aka E20 Org)

Sunday 8th March 2015:

E20 Football Academy in proud partnership with
Triathlon Homes, Get Living London and West Ham United FC

Our Objectives

Children were being prevented from playing ball games within the courtyards of East Village and the same local kids are not allowed to use their own school playing fields. It was recognised that Chobham Academy had the perfect pitches for training purposes. Our original objectives were to encourage kids out of the East Village courtyards and into a location where they can train without burdening East Village residents with additional noise and damage to grass and shrubs.


The provision is for 100% free professional football coaching sessions for young people in East Village aged between 6 to 16 years old. The program offers all young people of varying backgrounds and abilities the opportunity to enjoy and participate whatever their natural ability is. Create an inclusive and welcoming environment for kids to feel relaxed enough to take pleasure in sport amongst their peers, under the supervision of dedicated coaching staff. All participants are expected to shake hands after training and no bad behaviour will be tolerated with a strict ‘one strike warning’ for any violence or bad anti-social conduct.

Our training also underpins the six pillars set out by Chobham Academy to develop it’s positive and enterprising attitude to learning; Excellence, Respect, Integrity, Innovation, Collaboration and Trust. All training schedules are mentored by a network of professional coaches and should be scalable with a view to linking into professional football scouting initiatives.

We also include creative education whereby the members of the E20 Football Academy agree to not play ball games within the confines of the East Village courtyard spaces. All members pledge to educate their family, friends and neighbours that ball games are not permitted and instead they should play in Victory Park or other public playing fields.


The creation of brand new football development program co-ordinated by E20 Org and West Ham United Community Sports Trust coaches. This was seen as a highly prestigious opportunity for young people within East Village and allows East Village to establish community relations with West Ham United and in turn will offer young people in East Village the opportunity to be scouted for West Ham United youth squads.

More information

The state of the N10 courtyard

They are always playing football in Galena Heights, which I think is N15


Yes it is N15. They play football in the communal garden every day now it’s lighter. They’ve trampled all over the plants & flowers. Ruined the grass & scream & shout sometimes still out there til 11pm once summer arrives. I don’t think your football Acadamy stays open that late!!


@debbsp67 — We can only mentor young people that attend our football development sessions. We are keen to make sure that our members are sticking to rules.

I did see N15 today, the grass has the same issue as N10 had last year (before it was repaired and relaid over the summer holidays) there is a lack of top soil and the irrigation pipes are now coming through.

Kids won’t understand about respecting the shrubs unless they are told. All it takes is one child to start picking at bark on a tree or run through a bush and the others will copycat. Unless parents or carers explain to them why they need to respect their environment, they will not learn. I find it quite frustrating.

We have over 200 kids signed up with E20 Football Academy, with over 100 per week in regular attendance. As a starting point we are keen to make sure that these young people mentor their peers in East Village.

It should be noted that today I bumped into lots of our members playing football in Victory Park and we reenforced the fact that they shouldn’t be playing football in their courtyards.


Thanks Lee. I find it frustrating too that no-one respects the garden. No parents tell their kids off for jumping on the plants.

I grew up to respect my surroundings and others, but it seems no-one gives a monkeys these days.


@Lee & @Jonathan_Silman - Over 200 kids! WOW!!! That’s an amazing achievement! Well done guys :thumbsup:

Now just need to find another avenue for the screaming ones to vent out productively :wink:


Hi everyone, we have a similar problem here at Mirabelle Gardens: one part of it is completely destroyed due to kids using it as a football pitch. Also looks more like a mud pit now. And the noise on our balcony is unreal, impossible to sit and relax when they are playing football and screaming.
Is there anything we can do about it? I have never seen any signs being put up etc. I asked my property manager and he said there was nothing he could do.
Thankful for any advice!


Hi @Cordula@Jonathan_Silman and I sympathise will your situation in Mirabelle Gardens. Football is popular among a lot of young people, hence why we approached the @GetLivingLondon and @TriathlonHomes in support for creating the E20 Football Academy. More information here: E20 Football Academy - Ages 6-16. Every Sunday morning 10 till noon

Jonathan and I will endeavour to take some trips over to Mirabelle Gardens to have a casual chat about respecting neighbours, plants and grass. However I agree what is the long term plans for, balls games, cycling, skateboarding, scooters etc.

What worries me is that as time goes on, young people in East Village do not have goals to play in, so where do we ask them to go and play?

I wonder if we worked with Lend Lease and TIQ, could we find a way to create a temporary goal on the TIQ land between Penny Brookes St and International Way? That way at least football can be practised and encouraged without becoming a taboo activity. After all isn’t it great that these young people aren’t sitting in front of Playstations?


Thanks @Lee for the response and for willing to come over to check out the situation.
I totally agree it’s amazing for kids to be out and play football and pursue other outdoor activities, I myself spent most of my youth in outside playing and running! But sure we all agree there needs to be a balance between the interests of the other residents and most likely not even parents would willingly rent a balcony right above a football field. Having an outdoors place to unwind was heavily advertised by GetLivingLondon and I looked so much forward to it but often it’s literally unbearable, I can’t even have a conversation on the phone on the balcony when a “match” is going on downstairs.
Hope that a more suitable place can be found for the kids to play on. There seem to be a lot of football fields in the area so maybe parents can make an effort and take the kids there.
In the meantime I hope that signs can improve the situation in Mirabelle Gardens and other spots.


Many thanks @Cordula — I think you’ve nailed it, it’s down to parents taking their younger children to football fields — Is this too much to expect or should Mirabelle gardens be used for football? Then taking into consideration that all courtyards have a strict no-ball games policy, is Mirabelle Gardens is too convenient for football? Perhaps everyone from East Village comes Mirabelle Gardens to play football? should they be going to Victory Park? Is there a lack of suitable playing fields for young people?

I haven’t got the answers


I think this is very nice if you to do that Lee.

It isn’t just Mirabelle Gardens that has this problem. In block N15 we have signs saying no football or ball games and it has made no difference. It really isn’t the kids fault they are being kids. It is a mixture of the parents not taking responsibility for them and the various management teams not enforcing their own rules!

I may be a bit tough on this but I would just confiscate the footballs (much like East Village did with door mats).

As others have said the grass is ruined and the football comes with the loud screaming and shouting which echoes across the buildings. I can not speak on the phone in my own house and have the windows open due to what my friends call the school playground noise in the background…

(And forget sitting out there…)


Are there any rules regarding noise made in the courtyards? Whilst football isn’t an issue in block N02, constant screaming all day and evening (audible through the closed windows) really is quite annoying. It’s a shame the parents don’t seem to care.

Actually scrap that. There are currently kids playing football in N02. The grass is looking in a fairly poor condition too!


I definitely think football is an issue in N02.
The kids have even dug out a section of the grass to create a goal.

I sometimes tell the boys to stop playing football if I’m walking through the courtyard but they usually go straight back to playing once I’ve left. I’ve called security a few times (usually when there are more than a dozen kids playing football) but they never do anything about it.

Great work @Lee for getting 200 kids signed up. Any chance you could pop over to N02 at some point (usually between 6:30 and 9pm) and see if any of those kids would like to join?


Thank you for bringing this to attention. Unfortunately we have been advised not to enter courtyards that we do not live within. Although I’d be happy to try.

Please can @TriathlonHomes and @GetLivingLondon advise on the best approach?


As previously mentioned in our N15 courtyard (Galena et al) the kids constantly play football - despite the signs that we were told last year were put up to stop this. Signs don’t stop things happening. The parents need to take responsibility for their kids and make sure they abide by the rules that @TriathlonHomes and @GetLivingLondon set - like the rest of us do - regardless of what their status is - renting, SO, owning or social. @TriathlonHomes and @GetLivingLondon need to enforce the rules or scrap them.
It is good that they have safe space outdoors to play but there must be other things for the kids to do that doesn’t involve hoofing a football around or incessant screeching - it certainly wasn’t the only thing we did as kids growing up.
Our peaceful gorgeous garden hasn’t been that since the summer last year - only during the first few weeks I lived here could I spend all day on the balcony.
Well done @Lee on your initiative. Maybe the ones you have got signed up can talk to the ones that aren’t - get them to bring a friend :smile:


I agree with above I live in N15 too. The constant screaming it’s just too much at times and it goes on up to after 10pm last night. The parents don’t care, kids are out of their hair, so what if they disturb everyone else who lives here, as long as they are having quiet time. In the summer I want to have windows open, and sit on my balcony at weekends, but hardly ever do because the noise is just too much. The kids have ruined the garden, it’s more like a sand pit down there now. School holidays will be upon us soon, which means NO quiet evenings either after a hard days work. @TriathlonHomes need to do more, than just put up a sign, that gets totally ignored. Summer should be a great time for everyone, not just for the ignorant minority, these flats should be a community, no every man or screaming child for themselves. The parents need speaking to, to take some responsibility I have never seen one parent supervising their kids. It’s not fair. I get that parents want some to e off too, but a little consideration for others goes a long way.


As featured in the latest edition of the ‘On your Doorstep’ Newsletter, Team East Village have a team of five Community Engagement Officers who will be out and about seven days a week. They will be talking to children, young people and parents in the courtyards telling them about all the exciting activities on offer in and around East Village. This will include signposting to alternative areas to play ball games and reminding residents about estate regulations.

To contact the Community Engagement Officers, please email: If you have an immediate concern about activity in your courtyard, please contact Team East Village Security on: 020 8221 7013 who operate 24/7 at East Village.


Hi @GetLivingLondon.
I have contacted the Security Team when hoards of kids have been out playing football in the courtyards and their attitude has been awful.
The person who picks up is rude and doesn’t seem to think football is an issue.
Sometimes security will turn up, sometimes not, but when they do they just walk up to the children, tell them to stop and walk off again.
The children then go right back to playing.
I have offered to tell security where the children live but they are not interested. They also say that they don’t bother asking the children directly as they will just lie and say they don’t live there.
Should security not be making an effort to speak to the parents?

Nightmare in the courtyard

Hi all

I sympathise with you all including the children. Whilst the courtyards should not be treated as Wembley Stadium the football players don’t really have much more space to play football. Victory Park even looks crowded during peak hours.
I must reiterate the first 2 posts. Please refer all players to Chobham Academy sports piches on a Sunday morning. Wednesday cage tournaments are starting again from July 1st at 6pm.
I hope this helps.


Hello all,

We understand that noise disturbances and ball games are an ongoing issue in the communal courtyards. Our East Village Managers are working with residents affected and families on the East Village to mitigate the situation as best as possible, aiming to ensure that everyone enjoys the communal space this summer.

As mentioned by @GetLivingLondon, Team East Village have a team of five Community Engagement Officers who will be out and about seven days a week. They will be able to enter communal courtyards across the East Village to interact with young children and parents and will strive to improve the situation for everyone.

Please do continue to report noise disturbances and any acts of vandalism that you may witness to your East Village Manager so that they can deal with it accordingly.

Triathlon Homes