Coronavirus has adversely affected so many members of our communities and young people are no exception to this. There has been the increase in stress and anxiety on wellbeing, lack of routine or aspiration with the closure of schools and of course the loss of social interaction and physical activity due to lockdown measures. One programme that has tackled this head on by adapting its offer to young people is Premier League Kicks.
Over the last few weeks and months Premier League Kicks, delivered in Hertfordshire and Harrow by Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust, has utilized tools such as Zoom and social media to keep young people engaged in a range of activities.
Fitness classes and skills challenges across football and dance have been hosted online, whilst socially there has been a host of activities as part of this new digital offer; coordinated online FIFA tournaments, art classes and quizzes to name just a few.
One beneficiary of the PL Kicks is 14-year-old Amelie, who said:
“I have been able to access a range of activities during lockdown through the Kicks project, including baking, art challenges, football and dance. It is good to know that the project is still engaging with the local community and the young people who go to their sessions!”
The project has also taken part in the Premier League’s Connecting Generations initiative, with several teenagers coming together to plan and host an online quiz for the Trust’s older volunteers.
Premier League Kicks project officer Michael Williams said:
“We have seen, across Watford’s Community Sports and Education Trust’s activities, how engagements such as this, can vastly benefit people’s wellbeing. Whether it’s a simple catch-up with friends and coaches or having something positive to look forward to during the lockdown, it’s important that we continue to provide a service for young people.”