A representative team from our Kicks project recently took part in an eight a side football competition hosted by Newcastle United.
Our team was a reward for boys that have consistently shown a positive attitude and behaved well at KC session every Monday evening.
“The boys have been really positive and encouraged other young people from the area to participate in the weekly sessions. The help create a great atmosphere for all who take part, including the staff.” – Kris Walmsley, Tigers Trust Coach
The tournament included Newcastle United, Manchester City, Sheffield United and Middlesbrough. The Tigers representatives performed very well and was a great example for teamwork. They worked hard and managed to reach the final only to be beaten by the hosts in a very competitive game.
"The standard of professionalism and concentration from all clubs were faultless, and everyone put in a lot of effort to help make the Kicks Cup a success.”– Laura Wilson, Newcastle Kicks Coordinator
In addition to the football, all players took part in a hard-hitting drug, alcohol and gang related crime workshop before the tournament. It was delivered by Paul Hannaford, a motivational speaker who reflects on past experiences to help encourage young people to lead better paths.
Known for his brutal delivery of talks and workshops, Hannaford helped engaged 80 young people by delving into his previous drug habits and criminal behaviour, before demonstrating how he turned his life around and became who he is today. The London-born speaker used graphic images of his injuries and drug addicts to encourage our youngsters to make better life decisions.
He commented, “Brilliant day and well done Newcastle United and everyone who attended. It was very positive and every young man was extremely respectful. I've had dozens of tweets and messages on Instagram even parents have messaged me. This is football in the community and beyond. Looking forward to returning soon.”
Will, aged 15 from the Tigers Trust team said, “It was good to learn about how what paths you can fall into if you get involved with the wrong sort of people, it was quite scary hearing the stories that Paul Hannaford told us. Taking part in Kicks activities keeps us out of trouble and gives us something to do rather than hanging about on street corners and getting bored or causing mischief.”
Kicks is a Premier League funded project for 12-18 year olds, visit the Youth section for more details.