The Premier League is celebrating 15 years of its flagship community programme, Premier League Kicks. Through this programme more than 440,000 young people have been supported to achieve their potential and improve their wellbeing via free weekly football sessions and educational workshops.
Premier League Kicks began in the 2006/07 season in partnership with the Metropolitan Police, with the aim of involving and supporting young people in regular, positive and fun activity, whilst helping to create stronger, safer, more inclusive communities. Almost £66 million has been invested in PL Kicks by the Premier League since its inception.
Over the past 15 years, the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust PL Kicks programme has gone from strength to strength, reaching over 1,000 participants each year. As part of the celebrations, clubs have nominated a Premier League Kicks ‘Local Legend’ – somebody who has taken part in, volunteered, or worked on the programme and has inspired others through their dedication, work ethic and own personal development.
Our very own Shaun Preddie has been named as the Brentford PL Kicks ‘Local Legend’. Club Ambassador Marcus Gayle was on hand this week to present Shaun with his bespoke ‘Local Legend’ football card, which has been created with support from Premier League partner Panini.
Shaun was nominated due to the length of time he has been involved in the Kicks programme, 14 out of the 15 years it’s been running. He has engaged with thousands of young people in that time across over 30+ locations which has seen him engage them through youth clubs, multi sports sessions, tournaments, fixtures, day trips and volunteering. He has worked tirelessly with the next generation of coaches, players, and mentees.
On his nomination, Shaun said: "Working on the Kicks programme has been a great experience where no two days are the same it has proven an invaluable tool at diverting me away from negative influences and has allowed me to give back to not only the community I live, but to a project that has supported me to become the person I am today.
The kicks programme helps young people not just through sport participation but academically and socially as well. It gives young people the safe place to be themselves and develop in a non-judgmental setting.
This year’s participants in the Brentford Community Sports Trust programme have planned a fundraising campaign to support the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association (ACAA). The group had been tasked with selecting a local charity to support and to build and implement a plan to raise funds for them. They selected ACAA for the great work they do with Afghans and Central Asians living away from their homeland, providing them with support, skills and knowledge to live and prosper in the UK. Find out more about ACAA here.
The fundraising team will be out collecting ahead of Brentford’s match against Newcastle United at Brentford Community Stadium today, Saturday 26 February. We would like to encourage as many fans as possible to support the campaign via the bucket collection or via the donation webpage, which will also be promoted in the stadium on Saturday. Click here to donate.
Our participants also committed to organise a 5k ‘Walk & Talk’ event to raise awareness about the good work delivered by ACAA.
Hannah Finlayson, Girls Football Project Coordinator for ACAA, said: “We are looking to continue what we have already established and expand further to reach more girls. All funds raised from the Brentford Community Sports Trust fundraiser will be gratefully appreciated and will go towards venue hire for training sessions, coaching fees, and equipment costs.”