Kickz uses the power and appeal of professional football clubs’ brands to engage young people who may otherwise be difficult to reach. The programme aims to target some of the most challenging and disadvantaged communities which suffer from higher rates of crime and anti-social behaviour. It was founded as a partnership between the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police. The programme’s overall vision is:
To create safer, stronger, more respectful communities through the development of young people’s potential.
The objectives of the programme are to:
Engage young people, male and female, in a range of constructive activities.
Increase the playing, coaching and officiating opportunities for participants.
Break down barriers between the police and young people.
Reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the targeted neighbourhoods.
Encourage volunteering within projects and throughout the target neighbourhoods.
Create routes into education, training and employment
Increase young people’s interest in and connections with the professional game.
The Kickz model
Kickz projects are delivered using a consistent format, while having the flexibility to develop their own local ‘personality’ to reflect specific needs of the communities in which they are based. Sessions operate on a minimum of three nights a week, 48 weeks per year. This long term focused approach builds trust and enables relationships to be built and maintained with young people, allowing for development opportunities beyond football. Sessions typically involve two nights of football (coaching and competition) and one ‘flexible’ session.
Targeting – Right places, right times
Kickz is targeted geographically with delivery aimed at communities where young people are considered to be of greater risk in terms of being affected by crime, either as victims or potential offenders. With partner agency guidance and a review of intelligence and current provision, local Kickz partners, including the police and local authority, proactively identify the project locations and influence the days and times of provision. This is often based on factors such as levels of deprivation, crime and anti-social behaviour.
The right activities for young people – addressing recreational needs plus personal, social and community issues
Kickz harnesses the extraordinary power of football and kudos of the professional club brands in young peoples’ lives. However, Kickz is not simply a football programme.
The third or ‘flexible’ night of provision, within each Kickz project’s weekly schedule, allows them to continually adapt and refresh activity to maintain interest, or engage other groups who may not have the same passion as others do for football.
The range of activities provided across the Kickz network sees a huge range of other sports, music, arts and social development activities delivered. The Kickz provision also extends to include a wide range of personal development activities covering issues from healthy eating, sexual health and career development sessions to workshops on the dangers of getting involved in drugs and alcohol, gangs or carrying weapons.
Volunteering and progressions routes
Since its conception Kickz has embedded a culture of volunteering at each project and increased the quantity and quality of volunteering opportunities open to young people. The programme has provided an environment to home grow positive local role models and deliverers of the future from within target communities. Alongside the volunteering pathways Kickz projects tailor the delivery of accredited outcomes and qualifications to the needs of participants, this results in tangible educational, training and employment outcomes being achieved by young people engaging with Kickz.