Young Reds rewarded for ‘Kicks’ efforts

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Liverpool Community Foundation wearing the famous LFC shirts. Pic © Bernard Platt

Liverpool Community Foundation wearing the famous LFC shirts. Pic © Bernard Platt

Eight young footballers from St Helens were given the chance to wear the famous red shirts of Liverpool FC to represent the club’s Community Foundation in a five-a-side match.

In conjunction with St Helens Council’s Sports Development Youth Sports Programme and other key organisations across Merseyside, the LFC Foundation runs the Premier League and Metropolitan Police led programme, ‘Kicks’, which aims to use football to engage with young people and bring communities together.

The youngsters wore the shirts with pride in a match against Blackburn Rovers, and to top off the day, they won the game 22-3.

Mark Jennings, Sports Development Officer for Public Health and Wellbeing at St Helens Council, told JMU Journalism: “ As a reward and incentive for attending the weekly ‘Kicks’ sessions, the group of young people where chosen to attend a Liverpool Game to volunteer in what is called the ‘Sweeper Zone’.

“This is where they pick up litter outside the stadium prior to a home game and then are given a ticket to watch the game on that day. A number of the young people were also given the opportunity to walk onto the pitch at half time with a flag.

“The Kicks programme is something that is run across the country and fixtures are played between groups from each project. Our project was again chosen to give the lads the opportunity to play the Liverpool fixture against Blackburn.”

The Youth Sports Programme (YSP), which was set up in 2008, is an externally funded programme which aims to get young people, aged 14 to 24, participating in sports and physical activities. Over the last two years, YSP has engaged with just under 30,000 young people.

St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Jeanie Bell, said: “The lads should be very proud of themselves. Not only have they been great ambassadors for the town and the LFC Foundation, they are also proof of what community projects like this can achieve, and I hope it paves the way for more young people to get involved.”

About Hannah Hodgson, JMU Journalism