Friday, April 16, 2004

Welcome to Bellavist FC, the weblog for under-21 side Bellavista Juventud.

The Bellavista Social Club

In Peru, on the banks of the Amazon, is a city called Iquitos. In Iquitos is a small parish called Bellavista which has a local under-21 football team called Bellavista Juventud.

Presiding over the team is Father Joe Plumb, an Englishman, formerly of Ashington, Northumberland.

The side competes with other nearby teams and Father Joe is rightly proud of Juventud. He believes that the football team isn’t just great entertainment for players and spectators alike but it also helps teach qualities as diverse as self-esteem, pride and responsibility.

In 2003, Father Joe was joined by Doug Paterson and Charlotte Weatherell who also settled quickly in the town and fell in love with the area and its people.

Their common link with Joe is Bedlington’s Benet Bicop school in Northumberland, where Joe was a regular visitor and Doug a history teacher.

During their time in Peru, Doug and Charlie put their own skills to good use. This included putting on special classes for local children to help them with rudimentary English.

Charlie and Doug's students get their certificates. Posted by Hello

They were made very welcome, by Joe, their pupils and the towns’ people. And although Doug was keen to teach the children all he could. There was nothing he could teach the football team. That will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen Doug play.

Doug sets off on a run down the wing and is sensibly ignored by the midfield ball winner. Posted by Hello

Anyway, before too long it was time for Doug and Charlie to leave. But not before they had handed out certificates to their pupils and made a promise that they would return.

There was also one final promise. That they would look for sponsors for Bellavista Juventud back in their home city of Newcastle.

So it was decided that in order to help support the football team and to buy the shirts, shorts, socks and boots they needed, a new club would be formed – the Bellavista Social Club.

Everyone brings their own special gifts to the table. While the young men of Bellavista are tackling, dribbling and shooting, the less fit, older crowd, back in the Toon can do their bit by drinking, smoking, dancing and putting their hands in their pockets.

The first meeting of the club, including will take place at the Egypt Cottage, in Newcastle on Saturday April 17th from 7pm to midnight. Tickets cost £5 with all profits going to the football team.