PL Kicks is a scheme which is funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) in conjunction with the Premier League (£26k) each and is run by the Swindon Town FC Community Foundation. It’s been running in Swindon since last year and is for 8-18 year olds.
It was set up in 2006 as a way of using football to engage young people and to try and tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour, youth violence and to improve community safety. The areas where the scheme is being delivered has seen an increase sports participation and a reduction in anti-social behaviour.
The PL mission statement is to
Use the reach and appeal of the Premier League and network of professional football clubs to regularly engage children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities in football, sport and personal development – providing a trusted, positive influence in high-need areas across England and Wales.
Swindon Town FC Community Foundation currently deliver free Friday Night football sessions at Foundation Park and at another school in the town as well as after-school clubs in the local community. On Tuesdays, there are organised workshops with guidance coaches on key societal themes, such as the prevention of knife crime.
So far, around 500 young people have attended sessions.
PL Kicks stated aims are to:
Increase playing, coaching and officiating opportunities in football and a range of sports (8-18yrs)
Enhance physical and mental wellbeing, including self-esteem, ambition and social skills
Strengthen communities with a culture of volunteering, social action and positive role models – supporting education, training and employment pathways (focusing on 16-25yrs)
Work in partnership with young people, the police and other stakeholders to support the younger generation with the societal challenges they face (eg youth violence) and to improve community safety
Inspire young people to develop positive, supportive relationships with one another and the authorities
Promote integration and champion equality, diversity and inclusion