Getting Our Kicks
ARGYLE were represented last week at the Premier League Kicks Cup in Liverpool...
...as 47 clubs from the Premier League and Football League took part in this year's event in Liverpool.
The Under 16 mixed competition was won by West Ham United who beat Newcastle United 1-0 in the final, whilst in the girls’ event Newcastle United beat Wigan Athletic on penalties.
The Premier League Kicks Cup is the culmination of a season-long community programme run by the Premier League and Sport England in disadvantaged areas, to allow those who traditionally do not participate in organised sporting activities the use of facilities and equipment.
The Premier League Kicks Cup took place on the Jeffrey Humble Playing Fields, a site which has received investment of £650,000 from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Football Foundation, to assist the Merseyside Youth Association in building a new club house – in turn encouraging local groups’ use of their facilities. The significant investment has helped regenerate the clubhouse from a burnt out shell to a modern facility which will benefit the many hundreds of local people that use the site each week. The Kicks Cup signified the official opening of the new facility.
The Premier League Kicks programme began in 2006 as a pilot project in London between the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police with the aim of using football to bring communities together and to engage with young people. Today 50 Premier League and Football League clubs run local community-based sessions, which have engaged over 42,795 young people this season.
As well as the many matches that will be taking place throughout the day, participants of the Kicks Cup will be able to make the most of on-site workshops and advice and support from professional coaches.
Premier League’s Community Development Executive, Nick Perchard said: “We are delighted to be holding this year’s competition at one of the Merseyside Youth Association’s playing fields. Premier League Kicks is about connecting with communities, which complements the work MYA’s sports initiatives deliver throughout the year.
“Over the last twelve months the 50 professional football clubs delivering the programme have engaged over 42,000 young people, so to mark the opening of the Jeffrey Humble Playing Fields by seeing 600 of them competing for the Premier League Kicks Cup is very exciting.”
Steve Rotherham MP, Liverpool Walton added: “I was delighted to support the Premier League Kicks Cup Tournament which marks the opening of the new development in conjunction with the Merseyside Youth Association. I played regularly on the Jeffrey Humble playing fields during my amateur football days and I remember the old, cold and cramped changing facilities that we had to use. It is fantastic that the current generation of footballers will now have quality facilities.
"For decades the playing fields were widely used throughout the local community and by people from much further afield, and so the fire on the site in 2012 was devastating.
"I’m a strong advocate for grassroots football so it is brilliant to see the Jeffrey Humble playing fields benefiting from this investment from the Premier League and Football Association which hopefully enables the young, talented footballers in the local Junior Football Leagues to develop their skills and reach their full potential.”