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'Youth Summit has made next generation feel important'

23 Aug 2021

Hundreds of youngsters empowered by Premier League and clubs to seek positive pathways available to them

The first Premier League Youth Summit last week enabled more than 700 youngsters with the opportunity to share their views on the issues that are affecting them and their communities across England and Wales.

The virtual event got the youngsters, representing almost 40 professional football club community organisations, engaged in discussions around tackling issues such as racism and youth violence as well as making the Premier League programmes they attend even better.

"The point of the Youth Summit is to bring young people from the Premier League Kicks programme and the Premier League Inspires programme together across the country, and really look into and discuss the themes that have been chosen," explained Laura Wilson, a community outreach officer at Manchester City's City in the Community (CITC), who hosted their team's participation in the event at the Etihad Stadium.

"They might not always feel like their feelings or opinions are heard, so today this event has made them feel so important"

Laura Taylor, CITC

"The challenges have completely been down to them. They've not been dictated to by adults whatsoever, so I think it will really empower them today going forward.

"They might not always feel like their feelings or opinions are heard, so today this event has made them feel so important.”

Expanding ambitions

The event brought together youngsters from different programmes, some of whom were meeting each other for the first time.

It expanded their horizons and ambitions by testing their abilities to work as a team with strangers.

"The thing I've enjoyed most about today is working together, getting to know people and completing the challenges together," said Kaya, who joined the event from CITC's Premier League Inspires programme.

For one of Kaya's partners at the event, Clinton, being empowered with responsibility and the opportunity to contribute to his local area was a source of great satisfaction.

"I'm very proud of being part of something like this," said Clinton, a PL Kicks participant as well as a CITC volunteer.

"Something to give me pride that I've been part of something that can make a change in the community."

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