22 Sep 2021
For the last 15 years, Premier League Kicks has been working in local communities to inspire thousands of young people.
PL Kicks started in 2006 and has a long history of using the power of football and the value of sports participation to help youngsters in some of the most high-need areas.
By engaging them in constructive activities, including a wide variety of sports, coaching, music and educational and personal development sessions, communities up and down the country have been transformed with impressive football and sports participation rates and the authorities reporting significant reductions in anti-social behaviour in the areas in which it is delivered.
The programme started with four pilot projects, at Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Fulham and Brentford. Thanks to another three year funding commitment from the Premier League, the programme has grown so that 90 Premier League, EFL and National League clubs will deliver sport and education sessions at over 700 venues in local communities where projects are needed most.
Over 175,000 young people will engage in the programme between 2019-2022.
The scheme has enabled thousands of youngsters to find routes into education, training and employment with volunteering being a key component.
One of the key elements for the success of Kicks is the workforce, with 20 per cent of the coaching and delivery staff being former participants, often hailing from the same area in which they are now working.
One of the highlights of the programme is the annual Premier League Kicks Cup which brings together all of the clubs for a showpiece football competition involving hundreds of young people.
The programme was formerly branded Kickz and began as a pilot project in London between the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police.
The latest programme vision is:
To inspire children and young people to achieve their potential and improve their wellbeing; working together to build stronger, safer and more inclusive communities.
With a mission statement to:
Use the reach and appeal of the Premier League and network of professional football clubs to regularly engage children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities in football, sport and personal development – providing a trusted, positive influence in high-need areas across England and Wales.
PL Kicks stated aims are to:
- Increase playing, coaching and officiating opportunities in football and a range of sports (8-18yrs)
- Enhance physical and mental wellbeing, including self-esteem, ambition and social skills
- Strengthen communities with a culture of volunteering, social action and positive role models – supporting education, training and employment pathways (focusing on 16-25yrs)
- Work in partnership with young people, the police and other stakeholders to support the younger generation with the societal challenges they face (eg youth violence) and to improve community safety
- Inspire young people to develop positive, supportive relationships with one another and the authorities
- Promote integration and champion equality, diversity and inclusion
The next three years of the programme will also see more targeted provision for young people requiring extra support. Working in partnership with Children in Need, up to 48 professional football clubs will provide mentorship and guidance to children and young people at risk of or affected by violence.
Each project will work in partnership with local agencies to respond to the needs of children and young people locally, providing activities and support including targeted workshops and mentoring; with the aim of contributing to a reduction in youth violence and creating safer, stronger and more inclusive communities