Football project kicks anti-social behaviour to the corner

Leeds, Leeds Star

Young people in Halton Moor are being given the opportunity to take part in a football project with Leeds United Foundation in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area.

Housing Leeds is working with the official charity of the Leeds United club to deliver the ‘Premier League Kicks’ project across areas of the city with issues of anti-social behaviour. The latest 30 week course, aimed at 8-19 years olds, is being delivered in Halton Moor.

The programme aims to deliver a first class sports participation programme in the heart of local communities and give participants access to qualifications and opportunities that could turn their prospects around.

Jordan Stocks, benefited from the programme as a youngster growing up in Whinmoor, Leeds and is now a key coach delivering the project in areas around the city.

Jordan said:

“I received a two year antisocial behaviour order when I was 14 years old. A large group of us were hanging around the local estate and being a nuisance. I was immature and there was a pressure to commit a crime or cause disruption to the community. The programme came along at the right time and has helped me understand the meaning of respect and doing “the right thing”.

“I have greater respect for people in all communities and now know that I should treat people how I would want to be treated. I am also employed by The Leeds United Foundation and I’m fortunate that I can support, help and mentor other young people to become better citizens. ”

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibilities for communities said:

“We were aware that the number of incidents of antisocial behaviour in Halton Moor was increasing and therefore after consulting with young people in the area it was agreed that we would bring the Premier League Kicks project to the area to engage with them through football and the power of sport.

“The project has been running for five weeks already and is seeing over 35 young people attending every Friday night.

“Our aim is to divert the young people away from anti-social behaviour and towards something much more positive.”

Michael Kinsey, Leeds United Foundation, Premier League Programme Manager, said:

“Thanks to the support and commitment from Housing Leeds, Leeds City Council and the people of Halton Moor, we are now able to extend our offer of top quality sport and football activities.

“As the city’s biggest sporting brand we are fortunate that we are able to connect communities and help make places a better place to live. Every week children of all ages come out in force in all weathers and it’s a delight to see their commitment. We’ve also seen people from different communities come together irrespective of any language barriers, beliefs or religion and be United in sport.

“More importantly for the residents of Halton Moor we understand there has been a reduction in incidents of anti-social behaviour and we hope to maintain this trend and keep the whole community buzzing.”

Notes to editors:

The project in Halton Moor is funded by the Outer South East Housing Advisory Panel with match funding from the Safer Communities Fund.

The football sessions are run by fully qualified Leeds United Foundation Coaches and are free for both boys and girls.