Kickz Cup benefits young people

Over 56 young football hopefuls took part in the North Walsham Kickz Cup Challenge recently at the local Sports Centre.

Eight eager teams played for the trophy under the watchful eyes of Norwich City's Grant Holt, who also provided the young people with football advice and useful tips.

The North Walsham Kickz Cup was organised by Wherry Housing Association and Football in the Community (FITC) in partnership with Norwich City Football Club.

The fun event marked the success of the Kickz project which was launched last year. The project aims to bring a positive outlet for young people in the area.

So far over 300 young people have gone along to the weekly football sessions.

During these sessions they can also pick up street dancing moves, learn how to DJ and Beatbox as well as talk to representatives from Norfolk Police and Connexions Direct about anti-social behaviour, drug abuse, alcohol misuse and gun and knife crime.

Following the exciting matches the winning team received their well-deserved trophy from Grant Holt.

Most Read

All other teams were also given awards.

Bradley, 15, said: 'We love Kickz. We get to play football, make friends, and it keeps us out of trouble. I would like to get into coaching and Kickz is helping me gain a qualification to help me achieve my goals.'

Preparations for the big tournament started in the summer when a dedicated player-manager for each of the eight teams was selected by a coaching staff.

Over the last few months the eight player-managers each had to choose seven players for their teams. They had to coach and encourage their teams as well as make sure training sessions were run professionally.

Andy Bridge, neighbourhood officer for Wherry Housing Association, part of leading affordable housing provider Circle Anglia, and FITC head coach, said: 'Football is a team sport and a great tool for breaking down barriers with young people.

'Everyone gets involved and the young people quickly start to make friends. At Wherry Housing Association we are passionate about making a difference to the local community. It is important to involve young people in a range of positive activities and, who knows, this might just be the start of a football or sports career for someone from the area.'

The Kickz programme is run by the Football Foundation and uses the power of football and appeal of professional football clubs' brands. Kickz aims to work with young people who may otherwise be difficult to reach.

Other supporters and sponsors of the event were the Norfolk Police, Knights Trophies and Football in the Community.