During the delivery year of September 2021 – July 2022, the Premier League Charitable Foundation celebrated the 15th anniversary of Premier League Kicks.
The programme uses the power of football as a tool to engage young people aged 8-18 across the United Kingdom. Thanks to funding from the PLCF Colchester United Football in the Community have delivered over 160 sessions in this period, across 5 venues in some of North Essex’s most deprived areas.
Throughout the past year, we have engaged with over 400 participants across North Essex, this number includes over 100 girls and people with disabilities. When doing a recent survey about our programme, out of all the responses 100% strongly agreed or agreed that they enjoy coming to the sessions. This highlights the impact that these sessions can have on young people in our communities, providing them with a safe and inclusive place to come and play football and socialise together. Earlier in the year, we did a case study with one of our participants. When asked about how Premier League Kicks has helped them, they said “It has helped me so much. It has taught me to become more of a team player, learn new skills and get advice from new people and children who love football like I do. It has also helped my confidence and helped me to trust teammates”.
Alongside the physical activity, the young people also engage in workshops that are delivered by our staff, as well as local partners. We have had Colchester Police and Colchester Borough Homes both regularly deliver workshops on subjects around community safety and anti-social behaviour.
When asked about working with our Premier League Kicks programme, the Community Safety Engagement Officer for the Colchester District, PC Dex Adams shared: “Premier League Kicks in Colchester gives us the opportunity to engage and build positive relations with the young people in our community through a mutual love of sport. Working closely with Colchester United FITC who deliver the free sessions it gives us the opportunity to speak to young people about topics such as knife crime, anti-social behaviour and the issues the young people feel they face growing up in the community.”
PC Adams also went onto say: “The two-way communication with the police and participants of Premier League Kicks facilitated through Colchester United FITC allows open and honest conversations with young people about how their behaviour and actions can affect and be perceived by different members of their community.”
Being a part of the programme also allows young people to play in tournaments and represent Colchester United. Recently, we took a group of U14 participants to Norwich to take a part in the Canary Cup, where we played against 3 other community foundations. We also ran an internal tournament during the Easter holidays for over 50 participants.
As a Premier League Kicks participant, it opens up the chance for young people to start their coaching journeys, as recently we have had a former participant volunteer at our Premier League Kicks session in Clacton on sea. This has now led onto him becoming a member of staff here at the club during our summer programmes. We hope that in our next year of delivery we see more young people take up the opportunity to volunteer and progress into employment at the club.
When asked about the success Premier League Kicks has achieved this year, Health and Inclusion Officer for Colchester United FITC, Ed King said: “Premier League Kicks is an amazing programme to run, as it allows young people to access so many different opportunities that they may not have been able too, had they not been a part of the programme. From educational workshops to volunteering, seeing the personal development in young people, through social action and workshops has been great! Details about next year’s sessions will be coming out soon!”
Keep your eyes peeled for the information regarding next year’s sessions!
For more information please – CLICK HERE
For details please contact Ed King, at firstname.lastname@example.org / 01206 755160.