Monday 16 December 2013
Everton star Bryan Oviedo took part in a coaching session with local youngsters last week to help mark the launch of a new Everton in the Community PL Kicks project in Kirkby.
The 23-year-old winger met with the young players and showed off his footballing skills in a series of dribbling, shooting and passing drills at the Westvale Community Centre.
"It's been great to come along tonight and meet all the kids," he told the club's website. "It's really important that we get out in the community to support projects like this and Everton in the Community are clearly making a massive difference to the lives of the young people here.
"The kids were all asking me about the World Cup draw and how well Everton are playing at the moment so it was nice to speak to them and join them in their coaching session.
"Projects like this make a difference to the whole community"
"Too often young people stay home and play on their computer games or can get involved in trouble so projects like this make a difference to the whole community, and their health and fitness."
PL Kicks has been expanded to Kirkby to offer free coaching in a bid to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. Four evenings a week, Everton in the Community coaches engage with hundreds of local young people as they visit community centres in Westvale, Towerhill, Southdene and Northwood.
The social inclusion project works in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country and together with the police, uses the power of football and other sports to help turn young people's lives around and has been running on Merseyside for six years.
Everton in the Community's PL Kicks programme is delivered in partnership with Knowsley Council, Your Housing Group, Liverpool Housing Trust and Merseyside Police youth engagement team with the organisations working alongside each other to signpost young people who are in danger of getting involved in anti-social behaviour.
As well as football coaching, participants in the Kicks project have the opportunity to gain a vocational-based qualification through completing various challenges and putting together a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their abilities and life skills.
"Everton in the Community’s football coaching sessions have been a huge success, providing positive activities for local young people and helping them develop their soccer skills," added Knowsley's Cabinet Member for Leisure, Community and Culture, Cllr Eddie Connor. "We're delighted that Everton is now supporting the Kicks programme which will offer even more great opportunities to local youngsters."