The Albion Foundation recognised another year of success for their Premier League Kicks programme with their annual celebration event.
Ten teams comprising of local Kicks participants and representation from The Arsenal Foundation and Derby County Community Trust took part in the competitive and welcoming tournament.
Kicks is the Premier League community programme that engages hard to reach young people across the country with free-to-play football.
The scheme is vital to the development of young people around Sandwell, and these events help to bring everyone together, according to Paul Blagrove, Kicks Coordinator at The Albion Foundation.
“Days like these are a fantastic experience for them to get out of their areas and have an opportunity to participate in a tournament like this,” said Paul.
“Even though they’re all part of the same Kicks programme, they may never have met before, so it’s all about the togetherness and unity,” he said.
For many participants the project has helped to enhance them in a variety of ways, and that is no different for William Capela, who competed in the tournament.
“I love coming down because I can play against people from different age groups and improve. It helps me develop new attributes and it’s just a new challenge,” said William.
“The Albion Foundation has given me new opportunities, I would normally stay at home but coming to Kicks has given me something to do,” he said.
Kicks not only engages young people in the community but provides an important link between the Foundation and local police, says PC Hughie Treasure, Young Persons Officer at West Bromwich Police who was in attendance at the event.
“They’re a crucial part of us reaching a lot of young kids and also engaging with what they enjoy, which is sport,” said Hughie.
“They could easily be drawn into antisocial behaviour, but this gives them something to do, gives them a drive, keeps them fit and gives them a focus,” he said.
To find out more about the Kicks programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.