Christmas Success For Premier League Kicks Girls
Christmas Success for Premier League Kicks Girls
Girls from Newcastle United’s Kicks project competed in a Premier League Christmas Truce International tournament last weekend.
The team of ten under 18 girls were selected to play in the tournament held in Ypres, Belgium. The Christmas Truce tournament, since 2011 has now established itself as one of the highlights of the Premier League Academy Games Programme. The aim being to bring youngsters together from across Europe for a weekend of football competitions and cultural activities conducted in the spirit of the Christmas Truce, when troops in the First World War ceased fighting on Christmas Day in 1914 and exchanged gifts, sang carols and played impromptu games of football in no-man’s land.
This year’s event was marked as ‘extra special’ as Football Remembers marks the 100th Anniversary of the First World War. Football Remembers is a collaboration between the Premier League, The FA, the Football League and the British Council, with the aim of engaging football fans about what took place on Christmas Day 1914 in Flanders, Belgium.
After the under 18’s team reached the final of the Kicks cup earlier this year, the players were invited alongside other club representatives from, Milwall, Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur, with a special visit from four players from the Premier League’s Kolkata Goalz project in India.
Retired Premier League referee, Howard Webb opened the two day tournament, where the players were mixed into different teams across the clubs, to help develop an understanding of how the truce started, and they participated in three rounds with the final being played on Sunday lunchtime.
Even though the teams were mixed, Newcastle United had five players representing the Magpies in the final, and brought the winner’s trophy and banner back to Tyneside.
Laura Wilson, project offer at Newcastle United Foundation who supervised the visit said:
“It was a fantastic opportunity for all of the girls to be playing and representing Newcastle United whilst learning about the history of the First World War.”
“It was such a rewarding experience to be able to take the girls abroad and we are really grateful for the Premier League inviting us to be a part of the tournament. It was a definitely a highlight of the year for myself and all of the girls involved.”
Kicks helps young people achieve their goals through football. The aim is to engage young people in constructive activities, increase playing and coaching opportunities, break down barriers between the police and young people and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the target area. Football coaching sessions and educational workshops take place twice a week, 48 weeks of the year. Over 600 young people take part in Kicks each year.
Kicks is funded by the Premier League via Sport England, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council and North Tyneside Council
For more information, contact Laura WIlson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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