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Newcastle Walker Come Out On Top At U’16s Kicks Tournament

The Foundation hosted a Kicks Cup for regional clubs to attend workshop and tournament as part of Premier League Kicks programme on Saturday.

Representatives from Manchester City FC, Middlesbrough FC, Hull City Tigers, and Sheffield United came along to test our four Newcastle Kicks teams from Ashington, Throckley, Walker and Westgate.

The Newcastle teams were managed by sessional staff who previously attended Kicks as participants, highlighting and achievable employment pathway to current participants.

All players took part in a hard-hitting drug, alcohol and gang Related Crime workshop before the tournament commenced, delivered by Paul Hannaford –  a motivational speaker who reflects on past experiences to help encourage young people to lead better paths.

Known for his brutal delivery of talks and workshops, Hannaford helped engaged 80 young people by delving into his previous drug habits and criminal behaviour, before demonstrating how he turned his life around and became who he is today. The London-born speaker used graphic images of his injuries and drug addicts to encourage our youngsters to make better life decisions.

He commented:

“Brilliant day and well done Newcastle United and everyone who attended. It was very positive and every young man was extremely respectful.

 “I’ve had dozens of tweets and messages on Instagram even parents have messaged me. This is football in the community and beyond. Looking forward to returning soon.”

 Paul Hannaford delivering hard-hitting stories on knife crime and drug addiction.

Once the workshop was finished, all clubs took part in an under 16’s tournament where each team played at least seven games, with the top four progressing into semi-finals and the final where Newcastle Walker beat Hull 1-0.

One of the main objectives of Kicks is to encourage volunteering and create routes into education, training and employment. On top of football training and competitions, young people can also take part in issue based workshops such as such as drug awareness, healthy eating, volunteering, career development and anti-weapons workshops. Another key objective is to break down barriers between police and young people to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in neighbourhoods.

Kicks engages up to 600 young people a week across Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and North Tyneside. 50 of these are now volunteers and 65 having gained or are working towards qualifications. 100% have also improved their opinion and knowledge of Northumbria Police.

Laura Wilson, the Foundation’s Kicks Project Coordinator said;

“The standard of professionalism and concentration from all clubs were faultless, and everyone put in a lot of effort to help make the Kicks cup a success.

“The workshop offered the players a great opportunity to educate them to make the right decisions through the engagement of football.

“I’m extremely happy with Newcastle Walker winning the cup, but being able to enter four teams from the same areas is an incredible achievement and we are really happy with the results.”

For more information about Kicks, please contact Laura Wilson either by email via or telephone 07826 550937

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