Merseyside Youth Association’s £750,000 redeveloped playing fields will host The Premier League Kicks Cup next month, showcasing a wealth of footballing talent throughout the country as over 600 teenagers from 50 clubs compete for victory.
The pavilion at Jeffrey Humble Playing Fields, in Long Lane, Fazakerley, was destroyed in an arson attack in April 2012. Since then the 2,000 youngsters in the Walton and Kirkdale Junior Football League who play on the pitches had been getting changed in temporary toilets before games.
Thanks to a £649,430 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, and £100,000 of other funding; the pavilion has been rebuilt featuring changing rooms, storage for quick-team turnarounds, an officials’ rooms, catering facilities, public toilets, multi-purpose community hall, a car park and secure fencing.
Liam Corcoran, MYA Operations Manager, said: “These playing fields are at the heart of an incredibly strong grassroots football community. We were devastated when the attack happened but the team has worked incredibly hard over the last two years, and I don’t think there’s a more fitting event to mark the official opening of the Jeffrey Humble Playing Fields.”
The Premier League Kicks programme began in 2006 as a pilot project in London between the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police with the aim of using football to bring communities together and engage with young people. Today 50 Premier League and Football League clubs - including Liverpool FC and Everton FC - run local community-based sessions engaging with 250 Merseyside children and young people throughout the year.
The tournament will take place on 28th May, with the official playing field opening ceremony at 3.30pm. Throughout the day there will be marquees, workshops and professional coaches on hand to offer support and advice to participants.
Premier League’s Community Development Executive, Nick Perchard said: “We are delighted to be holding this year’s competition at one of MYA’s playing fields. Premier League Kicks is about connecting with communities, which complements the work MYA’s sports initiatives deliver throughout the year.
“Over the last twelve months the 50 professional football clubs delivering the programme have engaged 42,000 young people, so to mark the opening of the Jeffrey Humble Playing Fields by seeing 600 of them competing for the Premier League Kicks Cup is very exciting.”
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Notes to editors
Since 1890 Merseyside Youth Association Ltd. has provided a range of diverse, inclusive and quality services for young people, positively engaging to meet their needs and enable them to reach their full potential. MYA is committed to inclusive, anti-oppressive practice, which puts young people at the centre. MYA organises a range of generic and specialist support services for young people aged 7-25 who live in Merseyside. The work MYA offers is divided into 6 extended support teams: Social Inclusion/Alternative Education, Arts, Youth Work, Support Services, Sports, and Health.
MYA Sports provide positive and lasting change by improving the health and wellbeing of young people through promotion and access to sports, physical activity and exercise.
Premier League Kicks is a Premier League community initiative which has a long history of using the power of football and the value of sports participation to help hard-to-reach youngsters in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the community turn their lives around.
By engaging youngsters in constructive activities, including a wide variety of sports, coaching, music and educational and personal development sessions, communities up and down the country have been transformed with impressive sports participation rates and the authorities reporting significant reductions in anti-social behaviour. The scheme has also enabled thousands of youngsters to find routes into education, training and employment.
Following the announcement last summer of the partnership with Sport England, an extra 30,000 young people will be engaged over the next three years with a further 3,000 volunteers being trained.
What is PL Kicks?
- Delivered in partnership with many police forces
- Funded nationally by the Premier League and Sport England
- It began with three pilot projects in 2006
- There are now 50 Premier League and Football League clubs running PL Kicks
- In excess of 125,000 young people have been helped over the last nine years
The vision was to "build safer, stronger, more respectful communities through the development of young peoples' potential", getting to youngsters who had previously proven difficult to reach and guiding them towards a range of healthy and constructive activities.
The programme was formerly branded Kickz and 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. It is currently run at 50 Premier League and Football League clubs across the country (see list below).
Clubs offering Premier League Kicks programme:
Arsenal in the Community
Aston Villa Football in the Community
Burnley FC in the Community
Chelsea FC Foundation
Crystal Palace FC Community Sports Trust
Everton in the Community
Hull City (Tigers Sport & Education Trust)
Leicester City FC Foxes Foundation
Liverpool FC Foundation
Manchester City (City in the Community)
Manchester United Foundation
Newcastle United Foundation
QPR in the Community Trust
Southampton (Saints Foundation)
Stoke City FC Community Trust
Sunderland (Foundation of Light)
Swansea City FC Football in the Community
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation
West Bromwich Albion (The Albion Foundation)
West Ham United Community Sports Trust
Barnet Football in the Community
Birmingham City FC Football in the Community
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust
Blackpool FC Community Trust
Bolton Wanderers Community Trust
Brentford FC Community Sports Trust
Brighton & Hove Albion FC - Albion in the Community
Charlton Athletic Community Trust
Coventry City (Sky Blues in the Community)
Crawley Town FC Community Sports Foundation
Dagenham & Redbridge FC
Derby County Football in the Community
Fulham FC Foundation
Leyton Orient Community Sports Programme
Middlesbrough FC Football in the Community
Millwall Community Scheme
Norwich City Community Sports Foundation
Oldham Athletic Community Trust
Plymouth Argyle Football in the Community
Portsmouth (Pompey Sports & Education Foundation)
Reading FC Community Trust
Sheffield United (The United Initiative)
Southend United Community & Education Trust
Watford FC Community Sports & Education Trust
Wigan Athletic Community Trust
Wolves Community Trust
Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund
The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £513m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £736m – over £1.24bn of investment into the grassroots game.
Many of the new state-of-the-art facilities will serve to strengthen the connection between professional football clubs and their local communities, particularly in the most deprived areas of the country, through the professional clubs’ community trusts’ outreach work.
By providing more high-quality facilities, coupled with coaching at the appropriate age group, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund aims to improve the experience for regular players as well as attracting new players to the game.