The work of the Kicks programme, which hopes to reduce instances of anti-social behaviour in the Wokingham borough through football, was celebrated recently with a visit from the Parliamentary Under Secretary for Youth and Family Justice, Dr Phillip Lee MP.
The project is specifically developed to engage young people from targeted areas, using football as a main focus. The initiative, which has been set up in partnership with the Premier League, Reading Football Club, and Wokingham Borough Council, offers free football sessions at a number of difference venues across the borough:
Monday – Goals Soccer Centre, Woodley (3pm to 5pm) and Pigott School, Twyford (3pm to 5pm)
Thursday – FBC Centre, Finchampstead (6pm to 7.30pm)
Friday – St Crispin's Leisure Centre, Wokingham (6pm to 8pm)
By offering free football sessions to hard to reach young people, organisers hope to engage with them and offer a number of additional workshops on a range of topics including bullying, healthy eating, sexual health, substance misuse, money skills and careers. Dr Phillip Lee MP joined a recent session at St Crispin's Leisure Centre in his role as Parliamentary Under Secretary for Youth and Family Justice to celebrate the work the programme does to reduce anti-social behaviour across the borough.
The organisers are also looking into other opportunities for hard to reach young people to get involved such as through cheerleading.
Cllr Norman Jorgensen, executive member for sport and leisure said: “Kicks is a great initiative. It helps to support and engage with those that probably need it the most, through something that they can all enjoy. I was able to join Dr Phillip Lee MP at St Crispin’s Leisure Centre and was very impressed, not only with the initiative, but with the standard of football being played with the young people.”