Great Britain's success at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is set to inspire a new generation of skateboarders and BMX riders, and Leicester City are using that excitement to engage young people in the local community.
The club's charitable arm, Leicester City in the Community (LCitC), has launched a project "Urban Foxes", giving youngsters aged 8-18 a taste of BMX, skateboarding and parkour, all in a safe environment.
The project is part of the club's Premier League Kicks delivery, which uses the power of sport to inspire young people in high-need areas.
Through Urban Foxes, Leicester can attract young people outside of football fans who are keen to emulate 13-year-old Sky Brown, who won Olympic bronze for Team GB in the women’s skateboarding.
🦊 Baroness @dianabarran visited @LCFC_Community's Urban Foxes programme to see how young people can #rediscoversummer and be inspired by @TeamGB's Olympic success 🥇@DCMS | @LCFC pic.twitter.com/42XMrRlt27— Premier League Communities (@PLCommunities) August 11, 2021
"Sky particularly at the Olympics has really inspired more girls and young women to come along, and we're looking forward to involving more and more people in a different type of sporting experience with us," said LCitC head of community Allison Tripney.
"Ultimately what we're trying to do is raise young people's self-esteem and confidence, and we're trying to support positive wellbeing and to keep them active in any way possible."
Leicester's programme aligns with the UK Government’s Rediscover Summer campaign, which is encouraging families to get out and about safely after a year of missed opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baroness Diana Barran MBE, Minister for Civil Society and Youth, visited "Urban Foxes" at a pop-up skatepark in Leicester city centre last week.
"It's fantastic," she told Leicester's official website. "It has been fascinating to hear how Leicester City in the Community has grown and developed over the years, starting with football and now offering a fantastic range of sports.
"[Projects like this] make lots of differences. They are huge fun and we all need a bit of fun after the last 18 months - especially young people.
"It also tests your resilience. It pushes you a bit to your limits and it builds a load of life skills, and you see all of the kids encouraging and supporting each other."
Photos courtesy of Plumb Images