PL Kicks Cup

'Premier League Kicks is bringing people together'

30 Jun 2022
PL Kicks Cup 2022 v1

Nearly 1,000 young people feature in three-day tournament celebrating work of PL programme in local communities

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Almost 1,000 young people from across England and Wales are coming together in Nottingham this week to take part in three days of competition at the Premier League Kicks Cup.

The event at Nottingham University's Riverside Sports Complex, being held for the first time since 2019, celebrates the year-round work of Premier League Kicks in local communities.

Over 100 Under-16 boys', girls' and pan-disability teams, representing more than 70 Premier League, EFL and National League clubs, are competing, with Manchester United winning the boys final on the opening day.

"They've been coming to our sessions, some of them since they were primary school kids, said Andy Savery, Manchester United Foundation community project co-ordinator. "To see them grow up and turn into wonderful human beings has just been incredible."

"[PL Kicks] is an amazing opportunity to come down and play free football sessions on a weekly basis, the length and breadth of the country. So many clubs offer these opportunities and it's just incredible that they're there for our young people.

"Then you get opportunities like this to come and represent your club at big competitions. You can see how everyone was buzzing today, not just winners and runners-up, it was everyone who took part; playing in their club kits, it just raises their confidence in everything."

West Bromwich Albion won the girls final on day two, with Chesterfield claiming the pan-disability trophy.

As with the main programme, the PL Kicks Cup is not just about the football. Workshops, music and activities such as Street Golf are laid on for the young people to engage with, while special guests Makai Fray and Sharky got involved in the action.

"The most important thing about PL Kicks is it keeps people off the streets; we're playing football, it brings us together as a community," said social media star Makai, who was a former PL Kicks participant with the West Ham United Foundation.

"Coming back and seeing everyone play, it's nice to reminisce. It's nice to see everyone having a good time, everyone in the community coming together to play some football."

PL Kicks is the Premier League's current longest-running community programme, which celebrated its 15th anniversary earlier this year.

Since it began, more than 440,000 young people have participated in PL Kicks football and multi-sport sessions run across 936 venues by 90 Premier League, English Football League and National League sides.

To date, the Premier League has invested almost £66 million in Premier League Kicks and an estimated 80,000 young people take part in the programme every year.

Clubs also work with 36 territorial police forces throughout the country to tackle issues affecting young people, with regular sessions taking place in disadvantaged areas.

To keep track of all the PL Kicks Cup action, follow @PLCommunities and #PLKicks.

2022 PL Kicks Cup highlights
Also in this series

Part 2: How PL Kicks Cup gives young people the chance to shine
Part 3: PL Kicks inspiring girls to play the game they love
Part 4: 'PL Kicks Cup is life-changing for young people'
Part 5: 'PL Kicks shows that anyone can play football'

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