The brand new Premier League Kicks League North West Division kicked off for Oldham Athletic Community Trust last week as they faced a team from Liverpool Kicks.
The Premier League Kicks League North West Division is made up teams from Wigan, Bolton, Blackburn, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Blackpool and Stoke with monthly fixtures played between each scheme. The idea behind the league is to give young people who attend the Kicks project an incentive for attending and something positive to work towards.
The Kicks project is designed to provide positive opportunities through sport and is delivered for local communities at local facilities free of charge. Oldham Athletic Community Trusts Kicks project is delivered borough wide with over 200 young people per week enjoying free activities held at facilities local to them.
The OACT team that faced Liverpool were chosen from the Saturday night sessions which are held at The Honeywell Centre, 7-9pm. The Kicks project around the whole of Oldham has grown popularity ever since its re-birth a year ago. The mix of free football, music and now the additional incentives on offer have made it one of the biggest projects in the town.
Martin Vose, OACT Participation Manager, commented: "People may not realise it but Kicks is a hugely important project to the whole community of Oldham. It utilises community facilities and helps make sport accessible at times where perhaps there isn't anything else to do.
"The lads that represented Oldham Athletic against Liverpool were a shining example for the project. The game was played in the right manner with respect and fair play at the centre. The main message prior to the game was that it was not all about the winning, it's about having different opportunities that normally would not be available to them.
"Each month we will have a different fixture to play and our hope is that we can take four or five different teams from around the borough over the year to compete in these fixtures.”
The game was held at the Hathershaw College with Oldham Kicks finishing the evening 6-4 winners.
Next month the Oldham Kicks team that played Liverpool will be travelling to London to play in the Premier League National Kicks Cup which will see all of the clubs nationwide who deliver the Kicks project compete at the iconic Hackney Marshes.
Due to the monthly fixtures of the Premier League Kicks League North West Division it means that different groups from different Kicks sessions around Oldham can take part and experience playing against other clubs. Oldham Athletic Community Trust also run a Thursday night session at St Martins Primary School where 36+ young people per week attend the session and it will be from here that they will choose their next squad to face Stoke City in October.
Martin Vose added: "We are really lucky that through a dedicated workforce and various partnerships we have successful Kicks sessions throughout the week at various locations. Those who attend our session at St Martins have turned up week in week out for a long period of time now and they deserve the opportunity to participate in this fantastic league.”
The St Martins pitch is a 3G floodlit pitch located behind St Martins Primary School. There is availability throughout the week for bookings. Should you require more information or would like to book then please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org.