Port Vale FC first team players David Worrall, Luke Joyce, Richie Bennett and Jake Taylor joined participants from Port Vale’s Premier League Kicks session this afternoon at the Port Vale Academy to celebrate the commitment from the Premier League to fund the community programme for another three years. This investment will enable more than 175,000 young people to access Premier League Kicks sessions across England and Wales by 2022.
Premier League Kicks gives young people access to free football sessions, sports sessions and workshops, providing them with opportunities, support and pathways to achieve their full potential. It sees club community staff working closely with young people and authorities in their local area, including police, Youth Offending Team (YOT), local authority’s youth service and schools to create stronger, safer and more inclusive communities.
Aimed at eight-to-18-year-olds, Kicks engages young people in positive activities through their passion for football, whilst also addressing topics covering everything from equality and inclusion to youth violence and knife crime.
Premier League support will see the programme grow so that 90 Premier League, EFL and National League clubs are able to deliver sport and education sessions in hundreds of local communities where projects are needed most. With a focus on integration, equality and inclusion, thousands more girls will be engaged, and clubs will deliver ever more inclusive sessions.
David, Luke, Richie and Jake saw how young people in Stoke-on-Trent have been positively impacted by the programme and joined in with the Port Vale Foundation’s Multi-Sport session.
Port Vale Foundation has been running similar sessions for the past 3 years engaging with thousands of participants to take part in positive activity.
The Foundation’s Inclusion Officer Sarah Minshall explained: “This is the first year Port Vale Foundation has received investment to run a Premier League Kicks programme so this is an exciting time for us and this will allow us to engage with and positively impact thousands of local youngsters. The Kicks sessions offer a chance for children and young people to get involved a range of activities from football, youth club activities to dance while also learning how to make positive decisions in their lives. We are delighted to be celebrating the relaunch of Kicks and are thrilled to receive funding for the next three years.”
Premier League Executive Director Bill Bush said: “The Premier League Kicks programme has been running successfully through our clubs and many across the EFL for thirteen years. To show our commitment to young people and communities, we are investing further to ensure its continuation for another three years, until 2022.
“Kicks is our flagship community programme and we are pleased that with the support of clubs and partners across the country, not least the police, we can continue to positively impact young people, providing them with opportunities and pathways that they may not have been able to access. Twenty per cent of current Premier League Kicks staff are former participants or volunteers, which goes to show how a long-term commitment can provide support and pathways for young people to better themselves, in turn allowing them to be a positive influence to others growing up in their community.”