More than 150 young people from across England and Wales will head to Warwick University’s Cryfield Sports Pavilion this week, to take part in the Under-16 mixed Premier League Kicks Cup.
The Under-16 mixed tournament is one of the competition elements of Premier League Kicks. This is the Premier League’s flagship community programme, which sees clubs across England and Wales run free weekly football sessions and positive activity to engage and support young people.
Colchester United Community Foundation will be taking part in the Under-16 mixed tournament, for the chance to lift the 2023 Premier League Kicks Cup trophy. Teams will also be recognised for respect throughout the tournament, with fair play trophies awarded by Premier League, EFL and WSL match officials.
Almost 900 participants representing more than 80 professional football clubs across England and Wales took part in regional qualifying tournaments earlier this year, in the hope of earning the chance to play in the Premier League Kicks Cup finals, in the playing kit of their professional football club side.
Premier League Head of Community Nick Perchard said: “For over 15 years Premier League Kicks has had an incredible impact on communities across England and Wales, providing hundreds of thousands of young people free access to sport in the heart of their community.
“By bringing together young people from 20 professional football clubs, this year’s Premier League Kicks Cup Under-16 mixed tournament will support young people to make new friends, engage in positive activities and work together to develop their potential both on and off the pitch.”
Premier League Kicks began in Season 2006/07 in partnership with the Metropolitan Police, with the aim of involving and supporting young people in regular, positive and fun activity, whilst helping to create stronger, safer, more inclusive communities.
Today, clubs work with 36 territorial police forces throughout the country to tackle issues affecting young people, with regular sessions taking place in disadvantaged areas.
As well as providing young people with access to free football and sports activities, professional football club community organisations (CCOs) also provide additional year-round support through Premier League Kicks, offering mentoring, life skills advice and access to opportunities such as volunteering and social action to help aid personal development.
This season’s Premier League Kicks Cup finals will also support players’ mental health and wellbeing off the pitch, by offering participants the opportunity to take part in a range of additional activities, including hearing from inspirational guest speakers and social media workshops to inspire young people to reach their potential.
Thanks to the Premier League’s official ball supplier, Nike, Master Trainers will be on-hand to deliver warm-up activities, and all participants will have the chance to capture their involvement in the tournament in the Panini sticker photobooth, thanks to the League’s official sticker and trading card licensee.
Colchester United Community Foundation Health and Inclusion Manager Ed King said: “We are delighted to have qualified for the U16 mixed finals of the Premier League Kicks Cup. This will give the young people involved a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent Colchester United in a national finals day, maybe even the chance to tell their mates they scored against Man City! This event will be enormously inspiring for all”.
Since it began, more than 490,000 young people have participated in Premier League Kicks football and multi-sport sessions delivered by 90 Premier League, English Football League and National League sides. More than one million hours of sessions have been delivered since launch.
To date, the Premier League has invested almost £66 million in Premier League Kicks through the Premier League Charitable Fund.
Visit premierleague.com for more information.