Club Doncaster Foundation have been delivering the Premier League Kicks programme, in the local community within the City for over 15 years. A programme that uses the power of football and sport to inspire young people to reach their potential.
Last October, the Foundation launched the PL Kicks programme in Mexborough, following the identification of the area in need of more opportunities and activities for young people.
Since the launch of the session and working alongside the local secondary school, The Laurel Academy, where mixed and girls only weekly sessions are based, the programme has engaged with over 320 unique participants alone.
Participants attending PL Kicks sessions get the chance to represent the Foundation at events and tournaments hosted throughout the year, as well as taking part in the annual Play on the Pitch tournament, giving young people the opportunity to play football in a professional stadium, which wouldn’t be possible without the delivery of the sessions.
Targeting participants from the ages of 8 through to 18 years, the programme creates opportunities for young people who are at risk of anti-social behaviour, youth violence and/or from high-need areas to regularly engage in football, sport, mentoring and personal development opportunities.
Today, 90 clubs across the Premier League, English Football League and National League work with 36 police forces in providing access to free weekly sessions and education workshops in safe and supportive community environments.
Mark Cooper, who oversee’s the PL Kicks programme for the Foundation, spoke about how successful the Mexborough Kicks session has been: “This was a brand new session for us, in an area we haven’t targeted before.
“Mexborough was identified as an area in need of more free diversionary activities for young people. Since the start of the session in October last year, we’ve seen high engagement numbers throughout the year and the session is now embedded into the local area.
“We’ve been delivering the PL Kicks programme within Doncaster for over 15 years now and have seen the impact these regular sessions have on the young people and their community.”
One participant who has attended the Mexborough Kicks session since it first launched, said: “I never miss a Kicks session and look forward to it every Thursday.
“I enjoy the tournaments most and having fun with my mates. Having the opportunity to play on the Doncaster Rovers pitch too and score is something I will never forget.”
Delivering the session within the local secondary school grounds, has had a positive impact within the school too. Gary Oldfield, Vice Principal at The Laurel Academy said: “Each week I hear students talking about the sessions and how they look forward to Thursday evenings.
“It has allowed me to have positive conversations with some of them, which I might not have had previously.”
Interested in attending some of our PL Kicks sessions? We have a range of sessions that take place across Doncaster, during the week, for participants aged 8 to 18 years old.
See below to find out where your nearest PL Kicks session is, times & locations.
You can also keep up to date with all things PL Kicks on the Facebook page, here.