Prior to last weekend’s Oldham Athletic vs. Rochdale AFC fixture, the Polyflor sponsored OACT Kicks team played their first game of 2017 as they hosted participants from Rochdale Kicks project.
The game, which took place at The Honeywell Centre, was organised through the Premier League’s Kicks Project which was established in 2006 and uses the power of football and the value of sports participation to help hard-to-reach youngsters in some of the most high-need areas.
By engaging youngsters in constructive activities, including a wide variety of sports, coaching, music and educational and personal development sessions, communities up and down the country have been transformed with impressive sports participation rates and the authorities reporting up to 50% reductions in anti-social behaviour in the areas in which it is delivered.
More on Premier League Kicks
- Scheme delivered in partnership with many police forces and is funded nationally by the Premier League and Sport England
- Premier League Kicks began with three pilot projects in 2006, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Fulham and Brentford
- 68 professional football clubs run Kicks sessions: 20 Premier League, 47 English Football League and one National League side
- To date 180,229 young people have taken part in the Premier League Kicks programme since it started in 2006
The team that represented Oldham Athletic was made up from participants from the Thursday evening Kicks session held at St Martins Primary School, 5:30-7:30pm each week which regularly attracts 30+ young people to the session.
Andrew Nesbitt, OACT Community Coach commented: “It’s fantastic to see the young lads take their skills from our informal inclusion sessions into a competitive game.
“This year several participants have transitioned onto local grassroots teams due to the success of last year’s Kicks league, it's inspiring to see another group of participants enjoying themselves and hopefully following the same route.
"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 final result of the game saw Oldham Athletic run out 8-6 winners however it was a fixture that wasn’t all about the end result, it was about the young people being able to take part in competitive football and integrate with young people from various parts of the country.
Martin Vose, OACT Community Manager commented: “We would once again like to thank Polyflor for their support.
“Due to the support of Polyflor we are able to provide additional opportunities for the young people who attend our Kicks sessions such as these, we’re very proud to work alongside in the aim of providing positive opportunities for the young people of Oldham through sport.”
Squad: Jack Sammon (MOM), Kai Lawton, Tyler Schofield, Ben Mayall, Sam Kellett, Elliot Cutting, Shay Fox.