The head of policing in London has praised how Premier League Kicks is helping to turn around the lives of young people.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick visited the West Ham United Foundation's home in Beckton this month to see PL Kicks in action.
She heard from participants about their experiences in the programme and learnt first-hand how Kicks helps young people in east London avoid becoming drawn into crime.
"Sport can provide life-changing opportunities for children and teenagers, giving them the chance to reach their full potential and divert them away from crime or criminals who may seek to exploit them," said Dame Cressida.
She also met police youth engagement officers who work with West Ham's Foundation on PL Kicks as part of a partnership between City Hall and the Metropolitan Police to enhance the delivery of the project in London.
"Premier League Kicks is obviously bringing people together, giving people confidence, teaching them a healthy lifestyle," she added. "Most of all they are just having fun together and in a very safe environment."
Korede Akintunde has been taking part in Premier League Kicks for eight years and says it has changed his life.
"I've always encouraged my siblings and friends to attend too as it's always been a safe place for me to come," said the 18-year-old. "The coaches have helped me to gain new opportunities and make better choices.
"I'm now completing my apprenticeship and it's given me a clear pathway for my future and deterred me from going down a bad road."