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Kicks Project Tops Table For Participation

Newcastle United Foundation has been praised for getting more young people into sport.

The Foundation’s Kicks project topped the Premier League and Sport England ‘sustained’ participation figures table, putting it ahead of 63 other football club charities delivering the same programme.

The ratings show Newcastle United Kicks has the most young people in the country attending ten sessions or more within a four month period, showing a long term commitment to playing football.

The Foundation also came in the top three of the ‘engaged’ list, which recognizes a young person attending a session at least once.

The Foundation’s Kicks project is backed by the Premier League and delivered at 11 venues across Newcastle, Northumberland, Gateshead and North Tyneside 48 weeks of the year. In 2015/16 1918 young people turned up to play football with Foundation Coaches.

The aim is to involve 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.

Kicks is funded across the region by the Premier League via Sport England, Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council, Postcode Community Trust, Byker Community Trust, Four Housing and Blakelaw Ward Committee.

Players at Westgate Kicks received a surprise visit from Newcastle United Manager Rafa Benitez and Captain Jamaal Lascelles earlier in the season.

Rafa Benitez, said: “I saw for myself how much of an impact Kicks has in the Community – I can still remember my visit to Westgate very clearly! The Foundation does a great job and this recognition is deserved.  It takes a committed and ambitious team to achieve things like this so well done.”

Helen Richardson, from Blakelaw Ward Committee, said: “Kicks has a huge impact on the young people in communities and provides amazing opportunities for them to develop themselves. High attendance on a regular basis reflects the quality of engagement from the Foundation coaches, we can see the difference this has on our young people in our community and are proud to support it.”

Newcastle United Foundation Community Project Co-ordinator, Laura Wilson, added: “Newcastle Kicks has grown massively over the years and it is fantastic to see so many young people playing football every week.  From Kicks we can signpost young people on to other Foundation programmes, such as NCS and Employability, which continue to encourage positive life changes over a period of time.”

Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, commented: “I’m so proud of our team. All the staff and volunteers work very hard to engage young people in the programme and to keep them coming back week after week. I would also like to thank our Partners and Funders for their incredible support, without them we wouldn’t be able to have such an impact across the region.”

Watch: The Dack Twins share how Premier League Kicks changed their lives.

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