Community projects aimed at getting youngsters off the streets and into sport have been recognised at the football industry’s annual Kickz Awards.
Policing Minister Damian Green attended the event at Stamford Bridge yesterday (Tuesday April 2) to present the Outstanding Kickz Delivery award to Portsmouth FC’s Kickz Team. The group, who arrange football and drama sessions for 12-18 year-olds, won the award because they regularly consult with youngsters on what activities they would like to see in their area.
The Portsmouth team are just one of 100 projects in the Kickz programme, which uses sport to appeal to young people from disadvantaged areas. The local projects run sport, arts, media and youth work sessions, which aim to break down barriers between the police and young people. Some areas have seen up to a 60 per cent reduction in antisocial behaviour as a result of the scheme.
Policing Minister Damian Green said:
The Kickz Awards celebrate the hard work that has gone into engaging young people in sport who could otherwise be lured into a life of crime.
The successful local projects recognised by today’s awards show how positive engagement with role models from the world of football can influence future generations’ attitudes and behaviours.
The Kickz programme, which focuses on education, training and employment, covers 67 local authorities, 20 police force areas and is delivered in partnership with 46 professional football clubs, including Chelsea FC.