More than 150 young people from across England and Wales will head to Warwick University’s Cryfield Sports Pavilion this week, to take part in the Under-16 mixed Premier League Kicks Cup.
Newcastle United Foundation will be taking part in the Under-16 mixed tournament with participants from Redheugh, Walker and Westgate coming together for the chance to lift the 2023 Premier League Kicks Cup trophy. Teams will also be recognised for respect throughout the tournament, with fair play trophies awarded by Premier League, EFL and WSL match officials.
Almost 900 participants representing more than 80 professional football clubs across England and Wales took part in regional qualifying tournaments earlier this year, in the hope of earning the chance to play in the Premier League Kicks Cup finals, in the playing kit of their professional football club side.
Premier League Head of Community Nick Perchard said: “For over 15 years Premier League Kicks has had an incredible impact on communities across England and Wales, providing hundreds of thousands of young people free access to sport in the heart of their community.
“By bringing together young people from 20 professional football clubs, this year’s Premier League Kicks Cup Under-16 mixed tournament will support young people to make new friends, engage in positive activities and work together to develop their potential both on and off the pitch.”
Premier League Kicks began in Season 2006/07 in partnership with the Metropolitan Police, with the aim of involving and supporting young people in regular, positive and fun activity, whilst helping to create stronger, safer, more inclusive communities.
Today, clubs work with 36 territorial police forces throughout the country to tackle issues affecting young people, with regular sessions taking place in disadvantaged areas.
As well as providing young people with access to free football and sports activities, professional football club community organisations (CCOs) also provide additional year-round support through Premier League Kicks, offering mentoring, life skills advice and access to opportunities such as volunteering and social action to help aid personal development.
This season’s Premier League Kicks Cup finals will also support players’ mental health and wellbeing off the pitch, by offering participants the opportunity to take part in a range of additional activities, including hearing from inspirational guest speakers and social media workshops to inspire young people to reach their potential.
Thanks to the Premier League’s official ball supplier, Nike, Master Trainers will be on-hand to deliver warm-up activities, and all participants will have the chance to capture their involvement in the tournament in the Panini sticker photobooth, thanks to the League’s official sticker and trading card licensee.
Sarah Burn, Premier League Kicks Coordinator at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “It is a huge achievement for our participants from Redheugh, Walker and Westgate to have earned their place to compete in the Premier League Kicks Cup final and they are excited – and a little bit nervous – to represent Newcastle United Foundation nationally.
“While preparing for the Cup, our participants have learnt and developed their own skills around teamwork, communication and respect. It’s what Kicks is all about and we are grateful to be part of such a positive and meaningful programme.
“Our mixed teams heading to the Cup are a real inspiration for their peers, families and everyone within our Foundation.”
Since it began, more than 490,000 young people have participated in Premier League Kicks football and multi-sport sessions delivered by 90 Premier League, English Football League and National League sides. More than one million hours of sessions have been delivered since launch.
To date, the Premier League has invested almost £66 million in Premier League Kicks through the Premier League Charitable Fund.
For more information about the Foundation and programmes near you, follow Newcastle United Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for regular news and updates. Alternatively, visit premierleague.com.