Eight participants from Oldham Athletic Community Trust Kicks programme last week travelled to Liverpool to represent Oldham Athletic in the Premier League Kicks National Tournaments.
The team was picked from participants from the Thursday sessions at St. Martin's Primary School and Saturday night sessions at the Honeywell Centre.
Premier League Kicks
The Premier League Kicks programme began in 2006 as a pilot project in London between the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police with the aim of using football to bring communities together and to engage with young people.
Today, 50 Premier League and Football League clubs run local community-based sessions which have engaged over 42,795 young people this season.
Premier League Kicks is based in disadvantaged areas supporting Sport England’s aim to take sport to where people are, this enables clubs to work with young people that may have previously been difficult to engage with.
Football is the primary focus but the vibrant nature of the programme has enhanced its appeal to young people by offering a multi sports element with more than 35 other sports being delivered.
Premier League Kicks Cup
The event was held on the Jeffrey Humble playing fields, Liverpool and brought together all 47 of the professional football clubs who currently deliver Kicks for the very first time. On the day, 600 young people from all across the country took part in the event with teams travelling from as far as Plymouth and Newcastle.
Across the day the boys played eight fixtures against Middlesbrough, West Ham United, Nottingham Forest, Doncaster Rovers, Notts County, Everton, Liverpool and Blackpool. Overall the team recorded two wins, two draws and four defeats from eight games, keeping four clean sheets in the process.
The event was another great opportunity for the participants in question to represent the club and the Community Trust's Kicks project on a national basis. Everyone selected performed well on the day and exhibited respectful and responsible behaviour throughout the day.
Defender Connor Jones was voted Player of the Tournament by the rest of the boys, for his commanding defending and comfort on the ball with notable performances from William Greenhalgh and Josh Hallet.
The under 16 mixed competition was won by West Ham United who beat Newcastle United 1-0 in the final whilst in the girls' event, Newcastle United beat Wigan Athletic on penalties.
The day was not just about football; there was also a chance for teams to interact with each other as well as educational workshops. For Oldham, there was a group workshop based around money management, where they had to select a Premier League Dream Team with £60m to spend. The idea behind the workshop being that it helped the boys to learn budgeting in a unique and fun way.
Oldham Athletic Community Trust would like to say a huge thank you to The Safeguard Group for their support and partnership of the Kicks delivery. Without the support of The Safeguard Group it would not be possible to take participants on trips outside of Oldham and they therefore would not be able to participate in such events.
The Safeguard Group are proud partners of the Kicks project with their logo clearly displayed on the front of the kits.