The event in Leyton was to celebrate the commitment from the Premier League to fund the community programme for another three years. This investment will enable more than 175,000 young people to access Premier League Kicks sessions across England and Wales by 2022.
Aimed at eight-to-18-year-olds, Kicks engages young people in positive activities through their passion for football, whilst also addressing topics covering everything from equality and inclusion to youth violence and knife crime.
Male and female players aged 15-18 years old from across London; including teams representing QPR Trust, AFC Stoke Newington, Wapping Youth FC and Leyton Orient Trust Premier League Kicks Hubs from Chingford and Redbridge; and Leyton Orient Trust’s 16-18 education programmes were invited to take part.
The day started with a workshop delivered by the Metropolitan Police about knife crime and the consequences. Ending with two 6-a-side football tournaments. The girls’ tournament was won by AFC Stoke Newington and the boys’ tournament was won by Leyton Orient Trust College Study Programme.
Premier League support will see the programme grow so that 90 Premier League, EFL and National League clubs are able to deliver sport and education sessions in hundreds of local communities where projects are needed most. With a focus on integration, equality and inclusion, thousands more girls will be engaged, and clubs will deliver ever more inclusive sessions.
Premier League Executive Director Bill Bush said: “The Premier League Kicks programme has been running successfully through our clubs and many across the EFL for thirteen years. To show our commitment to young people and communities, we are investing further to ensure its continuation for another three years, until 2022.”
“Kicks is our flagship community programme and we are pleased that with the support of clubs and partners across the country, not least the police, we can continue to positively impact young people, providing them with opportunities and pathways that they may not have been able to access. Twenty per cent of current Premier League Kicks staff are former participants or volunteers, which goes to show how a long-term commitment can provide support and pathways for young people to better themselves, in turn allowing them to be a positive influence to others growing up in their community.”
PC Graeme Halleron, Metropolitan Police, said: “The Knife Crime Workshops are invaluable in the current climate. Vital information with regards to Law and consequences is passed on in a way that is easy to understand, using an interactive question and answer session, role play and video. This helps young people make up their own minds when it comes to Responsibilities, Choice & Respect (RCR). Ultimately, the workshops are about giving young people the tools and information to make the right choices and Do The Right Thing! Choose life, not a knife.”
Nayim Islam, Coach, Wapping Youth FC, said: “The Leyton Orient Premier League Kicks tournament was a fantastic initiative to bring the community together to participate in something they are passionate about together. The tournament not only involved football but tackled some very sensitive issues in the community in a very effective manner. As a community organisation and a local football club it was an honour to take part.”
Hafiz Haque, Lead Development Coach, Leyton Orient Trust, said: “It was a great event today – a fitting way to celebrate Premier League Kicks. It is a great programme to engage young people with football and subjects that matter to them. It was great to partner with Met Police on this event to deliver important messages about the consequence of knife crime, but also take the opportunity to positively engage young people in the football tournament.”
To find out more about Leyton Orient Premier League Kicks, visit: www.leytonorienttrust.org.uk
More information on the national PL Kicks programme and its objectives can be found at: www.premierleague.com/communities/programmes/community-programmes/pl-kicks