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How PL Summer Sessions kept young people active

4 Sep 2021
WAOT Summer Sessions

Find out how 15,000 young people have been helped by 71 clubs during the school holidays

During the school summer holidays, almost 15,000 young people have been kept active and engaged by more than 70 clubs in England and Wales as part of the Premier League Summer Sessions.

The activities provided the length and breadth of the country, all free of charge, ranged from football training, to helping primary schoolchildren transition to secondary schools, to workshops on how to tackle racism and the dangers of gang culture.Β 

One of those taking part in the PL Summer Sessions run by the 71 clubs was Shalom, from Manchester.

"The sessions help with my fitness," she said of the sessions run by City in the Community, the charitable arm of Manchester City. "So I am not always at home, like during the summer holidays.

"It's very welcoming and friendly."

Local needs met

Each of the sessions was tailored to the needs of local community and were integrated withino the delivery of Premier League programmes that take place all year round for people aged up to their twenties, programmes such as Premier League Primary Stars, Premier League Kicks and Premier League Inspires.

Clubs like Aston Villa delivered workshops and events based around the Premier League's No Room For Racism, social-action projects, how to deal with peer pressure, while Charlton Athletic put on a London scavenger hunt for participants.

All the programmes were designed to use the power of the football and the football club to inspire young people at a time of the year when they may struggle for structure in their lives.Β 

Stoke-on-Trent South MP Jack Brereton and local councillor Faisal Hussain visited Stoke City's Premier League Kicks programme and were impressed with its impact.

"I wanted to see the fantastic work that's being done here, getting more people involved in sport," Brereton said.

Other examples of what clubs did in their Summer Sessions are that Burnley worked with local young people at risk of exclusion from their schools.

Queens Park Rangers ran work-experience weeks, while Leicester City and Cardiff City provided guidance and workshops for those making that daunting transition from junior to secondary school.

Wigan Athletic targeted young people in the area eligible for free school meals and provided them with arts and music sessions.

Chelsea held workshops on diversity and role models, and Southend United helped young people talk about mental wellbeing, healthy eating and the dangers of gang crime.

The children who participated are now returning to schools across England and Wales, but that does not mark the end of the clubs' engagement with them.

They will continue to help the children, either in school through Premier League Primary Stars or Premier League Inspires, or outside through their regular Premier League Kicks sessions.

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