Premier League Kicks

George Friend and a Foundation staff member pose for a photo with a group of children in a sports hall

Premier League Kicks began as a pilot project in London between the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police in 2006, with the aim of using football to bring communities together and engage with young people.

Kicks uses the power of football and appeal of professional football clubs brands from the Premier League and Football League to engage young people who may otherwise be difficult to reach in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country.

The vision is to ‘build safer, stronger, more respectful communities through the development of young peoples’ potential.’

Kicks works closely with partnerships such as Youth services, local councils, the Police, Green Sky Fitness and ‘Prison? Me? No Way!’ to help raise aspirations of the young people that attend, and encourage them to make the right choices in the community.

All of the PL Kicks coaches are F.A qualified, however the programme isn’t exclusively about football. We offer a variety of different active such as: kick boxing, street dance, graffiti art workshops and prison van workshops to name a few.

Further to these activities, Kicks gives the young people who attend the choice to choose what activities they would like to take part in through an initiative called PL Youth Voice. The initiative is designed to get young people to share their ideas and experiences to not only aid their learning, but the learning of their peers too.

The young people who attend Kicks on a regular bases and have a good attitude are given rewards, and are invited to various trips across the year. These include regular trips to the Middlesbrough FC first team games, playing against other Kicks teams from professional clubs such as Sunderland, Stoke and Leicester, and trips to theme parks like Flamingo Land.

The tournaments are designed to break down barriers between different wards across Teesside, bringing all sites together and allowing them to socially mix with other young people they have never met. It also gives them a sense of pride that they are representing their area in national competitions.

Premier League Kicks also raises the aspirations of young people in the most deprived areas across Teesside with qualifications, such as ‘Junior Football Leaders Awards’ and’ FA Level One Coaching Awards’ across different sports. There are also volunteer opportunities which have led to casual paid hours on the Kicks program. The coaches build up a strong positive bond with the young people, becoming role models, and always reinforcing that they can achieve anything if they put their mind to it.

For more information contact Liam on Liam.watson@mfcfoundation.co.uk or 01642 757674


Football Welcomes: Shaygan’s Story

SHAYGAN is from Iran. His story as a 20-year-old began with MFC Foundation around April 2019 as a participant in our Football Welcomes programme, the very same programme we are highlighting today, the EFL’s Day of Action.

The programme is an initiative to create a more welcoming community for those seeking refuge and asylum. He hadn’t been in the country long before he started attending sessions.

A keen student of football, Shaygan began volunteering on the Football Welcomes programme organising warm-ups, cool downs and various other activities for the participants. He also assisted in getting teams together for regular tournaments against other programmes and indeed Foundations from across the country. Other roles during this time included being an interpreter for coaches for participants from Iranian, Kurdish and Afghan backgrounds.

Upon gaining his status in the country Shaygan was able to sign up to the MFC Foundation traineeships programme. As part of his as well as gaining a number of qualifications based around football such as Sports Leader, First Aid and Safeguarding he also completed 100hrs work experience. The work experience involved him getting knowledge of a number of different programmes the Foundation deliver across the Tees Valley area.

His journey continued when he gained employment with the organisation. After completing his traineeship, he was successful in getting a 20hr a week contract as a Business Support Worker. This involved him being part of the day to day running of the MFC Foundation Herlingshaw Centre as well as assisting on many of the different programmes the Foundation delivers.

Shaygan’s next calling has taken him to London and occasional work with Amnesty UK and Fulham. But he never forgets where his new life started.