This week, we kicked off EFL Week of Action with a visit to our Premier League Kicks session at Port Vale Foundation and welcomed Port Vale men’s first team goalkeeper Jack Stevens along, who took part in some of the session and did a Q&A with participants.
- Jack Stevens and Carol Shanahan OBE help to kick off the EFL Week of Action with Premier League Kicks session at Port Vale Foundation
- PL Kicks uses the power and appeal of Port Vale Football Club and the Premier League to regularly engage children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities in football, sport and personal development activities
- Stevens: "For me, it is great to see the kids being active and enjoying their football and, more importantly, the club having that connection with our fans and local community."
Port Vale Foundation’s Premier League Kicks (PL Kicks) programme started back in 2019. Premier League Kicks uses the power and appeal of Port Vale Football Club and the Premier League to regularly engage children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities in football, sport and personal development activities. The sessions are delivered weekly at the Foundation Building, Tommy Cheadles and Dimensions Leisure Centre. The programme last year engaged with 981 children and young people.
Activities include a weekly mix of football, multi-sports, a youth club, dance, female-only sessions, holiday provisions and regular football tournaments. Sessions are open to both boys and girls aged between 8-18 years. We endeavour to ensure that our project is built on a core value of the Foundation, which is inclusivity and we leave no one behind. The project inspires children and young people to achieve their potential and improve their health and wellbeing, whilst supporting them in developing skills through workshops, structured social action and volunteering opportunities. Participants also have the chance for unique Port Vale experiences, including stadium tours, tickets to games, player appearances and trips to see other football grounds. The project couldn’t be delivered without the support of a range of partners, specifically, we work with Engage Communities CIC, a local community organisation. We also work alongside Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Street Games, SOT Youth Offending Team, Police and Show Racism the Red Card.
Speaking about his appearance at the event, Stevens said:
“It is a free event and opportunity for kids to get involved in football, which is great. For me, it is great to see the kids being active and enjoying their football and, more importantly, the club having that connection with our fans and local community.
“Everyone was so enthusiastic; I did a Q&A and the questions are always great, being asked about my FIFA rating was a popular one!
“Hopefully the kids want to come to the games at the weekends and, of course, as a group of players we’ll continue to get out into the community and build those relationships.”
Community Engagement Officer, Sarah Minshall, added “The programme has been a huge success over the last six years, we have seen it grow and diversify in terms of what is now offered to young people who otherwise might not have the opportunity to take part in activity. The sessions provide a safe, structured space on people’s doorstep and allow young people access to a sporting and educational opportunity.
“We know the sessions are high quality as the young people continue to come back again and again. It was great to have Jack with us this week and it was pleasing to see the young people engage with him, particularly our young Vale fans who were able to get photos autographs with Jack.”
If you would like to know more about this programme, please contact email@example.com via email or call 01782 757066.