Bangladesh Football Association (BFA) was set up in 1996 and is the co-ordinating body for grassroots football in Tower Hamlets. It is a registered charity and its object is to improve the lives of young people through sport. It is both a frontline and umbrella organisation and represents 40 adult and 24 youth football teams from Tower Hamlets and neighbouring boroughs. BFA organises football leagues and tournaments for the local community at local, regional and national level. It supports member teams with capacity building to enable them to develop and provide better services to their users.
Many of BFA projects have developed because of the need for it and are long running projects supporting the community. The users are young people from deprived backgrounds and on the margins of society. By organising football leagues and tournaments, BFA keeps many young people engaged, brings them out of isolation, offers them positive diversionary activities in their life, in-stills pride and confidence and supports them to become good citizens.
BFA delivers other projects for young people such as volunteering programme, employment and training support, accredited and non-accredited courses, personal development projects, gang and knife crime project and women and girls exercise and sports projects. BFA uses football to engage young people and provides a holistic service through these other projects.
BFA is a fast growing organisation and every year the different projects are increasing. BFA works with various partners and takes part in strategic decision making with the Football Association (FA), London Football Association, London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH) football partnership, parks and open spaces, third sector strategy and LAP development. BFA has been recognised for its work by LBTH as it won the 3rd sector excellence award for improving sport and recreation in the borough. BFA is a FA charter standard club and has achieved matrix and REACH quality standards.
Last year the total number of direct and indirect beneficiaries is estimated to be around 3,000 children, young people, adults, male and female and people from over 50 different ethnic backgrounds.