Eight young people from Oldham Athletic Community Trust’s Kicks project recently had the chance to represent the club as they faced Rochdale in the Premier League Kicks Division.
The game, which took place at The Soccer Factory (Rochdale), 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, which are sponsored by Polyflor, was made up from participants from the Friday evening PL Kicks session which is held at Stoneleigh Park, 18:00-20:00 each week & regularly attracts 30+ young people to the session.
Jack Garside, OACT Community Coach & Visual Output Lead commented: “It’s fantastic to see the young lads take their skills from our informal inclusion sessions into a competitive game.
“This was the first game that any of these young people had played in with the majority currently not playing for a grassroots club. They all represented Oldham Athletic in a positive manner and were a credit to themselves.
"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.”
Due to the support of Polyflor OACT are able to provide additional opportunities, such as this, for the young people who attend the PL Kicks sessions. Everyone at OACT would like to thank Polyflor for their valuable ongoing support to the project
Squad: Kyle Dwyer, Jake Maher, Tyrell Warnby, Ben Birtles, Macauley McGuire, Koby Maher, Tyler Fielding.
MOM: Ben Birtles