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Barnsley FC Goalkeeper Jack Walton and Forward Aiden Marsh attended our Premier League Kicks session at 5ives Sports club last night as part of the EFL Week of Action.
The players braved the freezing temperatures to join the participants at their outside session in Kendray last night. We invited them down to see how the sessions work and to see the impact is has on the local young people of Barnsley.
A little bit about Premier League Kicks
PL Kicks started in 2006 and has a long history of using the power of football and the value of sports participation to help youngsters in some of the most high-need areas. It aims to reduce Anti-Social behaviour, increase sports participation and enrich the quality of childhood through sporting opportunities and experiences in the local community.
The scheme has enabled thousands of youngsters to find routes into education, training and employment with volunteering being a key component.
One of the key elements for the success of Kicks is the workforce, with 20 per cent of the coaching and delivery staff being former participants, often hailing from the same area in which they are now working.
One of the highlights of the programme is the annual Premier League Kicks Cup which brings together all of the clubs for a showpiece football competition involving hundreds of young people.
Premier League Kicks in Barnsley
We have been running the PL Kicks sessions in Barnsley for 7 years and have engaged with 495 participants since September 2022. Our main aim to use the power of football to inspire young people to become more active in a safe and inclusive environment. Open to boys and girls aged 8-18 years we develop the FREE sessions to help participants improve their skills, make new friends and have fun.
The sessions have made a direct impact in helping lower the rate of anti-social behaviour in the areas where the programme is delivered giving young people the opportunity to get off the streets and join in. We have previously partnered with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue who attended sessions in Kendray to joined in to help build relationships with local young people and discuss the dangers of lighting deliberate fires in the local community.
The programme has also helped participants gain places in local grass roots football teams as it has helped them develop not only on the pitch but off the pitch as well building skills such as confidence, team working and discipline.
Having the Barnsley FC players attend last night gave the participants the opportunity to ask them questions and take part in some side line activities.
Reds in the Community, Premier League Kicks Officer James Cooke added: ‘It was fantastic to see Barnsley FC players attend out Premier League Kicks session. Our young people attend weekly, giving it there all, playing to the best of their ability, aspiring to be football players when they are older. It will surely be an experience they won’t forget.’