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ROYALS CREATING CHANCES

PUBLISHED

10:04 21st March 2013

Together using the power of football to positively change lives

Today the Premier League published its Creating Chances Report 2012 and Reading Football Club’s exceptional community work rightly features heavily.

The 64-page report details the work that the Premier League clubs deliver at the heart of their communities in five key areas: community cohesion, sport participation, health, education and international. 

More than 1,600 community staff (more than the number of Premier League players, managers and backroom staff put together) worked day in, day out across the Premier League to make a palpable difference to the lives of in excess of 540,000 individuals last year.

And the report also states that in 2012, the Premier League and its clubs resourced approximately £45million of Premier League revenue into community work.

Today, readingfc.co.uk pays special tribute to the Premier League’s Creating Chances report, highlighting just a few of the ways in which Reading Football Club’s far-reaching initiatives have had an impact on local, national and international communities in the last year.

Writing the foreword in the report is Chairman of the British Olympic Association Lord Coe, who says “If 2012 proved one thing, it is that sport inspires. A generation of young people have been genuinely motivated by the history they witnessed last year and, moving forward, all of us involved in sport have an important job to do in harnessing that energy to powerful effect. I am pleased to see that already the Premier League is doing it right.

“It’s not just about sport. In this report are some powerful examples of partnership having an impact on young people upon these shores and afar: Kickz with the police, Premier Skills with the British Council, Reading Stars with the National Literacy Trust, over 80 community projects funded by the Premier League Professional Footballers’ Association Community Fund.

“The Premier League’s appeal catches youngsters’ attention, the deep local roots of every Premier League Club means that there are talented and experienced community coaches able to welcome the enthusiastic participants to the project.

“The Premier League is to be applauded for ensuring that thousands of young people will get their opportunity to participate in sport. In years to come the whole of sport will still be feeling the benefit – from Sports Personality of the Year all the way through to the local sports hall.”

Chief Executive of the Football League, Richard Scudamore added, “The Premier League and our clubs will keep doing our bit. This year’s Creating Chances Report is packed with personal stories of the difference that our work makes to those who are involved with it, be they an administrator, participant, a partner or a politician.

“We are proud of the facilities being built and the practitioners whose drive and professionalism is making a real difference to thousands of young people from all backgrounds throughout the country. Our club foundations, our central programmes and our partnerships will all keep delivering the participation, education and grassroots-focused activities that will keep inspiring and engaging young people in our clubs’ communities.”

You can download the full Premier League Creating Chances report here or iPad users can follow the iTunes link here

Be sure to read about the Royals' impact in all five areas of the Premier League's Creating Chances initiative below and across readingfc.co.uk today!

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A CHANCE: BEHIND BARS
As mentioned above, today readingfc.co.uk will be dedicated to the Premier League’s Creating Chances report, highlighting just a few of the ways in which Reading Football Club have had an impact on local, national and international communities in the last year.

Page 52 of the Premier League’s report, for example, focuses on one of the pioneering projects we have been undertaking, alongside Barclays, behind the bars of Her Majesty’s Young Offender Institute in Reading.

For a number of years now, our Community Trust coaches have been going into the prison to encourage young offenders to acquire the skills they need for life once they leave prison. Over the past three years more than 80 inmates at HMYOI Reading have achieved qualifications through this partnership and, as a result of the project, re-offending rates for the inmates who have participated and left the institute have dropped dramatically. The success of the project, which uses physical education to address deficits in basic and key skills among offenders, recently earned us a national Kickz Award.

In parallel, Barclays Bank has been working behind bars on a number of life skills workshops to further assist the project, teaching inmates about accountancy and banking. Our Community Trust has also helped prisoners to work towards earning Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Awards, FA Junior Football Leaders Awards and Sports Leader awards. 

Back in November, 14 young offenders who had completed their courses were presented with their certificates by Royals skipper Jobi McAnuff and strike star Noel Hunt in front of the Match of the Day cameras! “They have probably been coming from places where they don’t feel there are any consequences to their actions to anybody else, whereas this project teaches them that what you do can affect other people,” Jobi said. “And they all seem to be enjoying it, which is massive. It gives them a genuine chance to do something when they come out.”

You can watch the BBC's feature following the players' visit by clicking here.

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A CHANCE: KICKZ IMPACT
Meanwhile, the impact our Kickz projects have been having on the outside world continues to grow. The vision of Kickz was always to ‘build safer, stronger, more respectful communities through the development of young peoples’ potential’, reaching out to youngsters who have previously proven difficult to get to and guiding them towards a range of constructive activities:

- Our Community Trust coaches host street dance sessions every Monday evening at the Tilehurst Youth and Community Centre, between 6pm - 7pm.

- We run football sessions every Monday night at Cintra Park in Whitley, between 7pm-9pm.

- We run a whole range of sporting activities every Tuesday at Fairview Community Centre, between 7.30pm – 9.30pm, and every Wednesday night at South Reading Youth and Community Centre in Whitley, between 7.30pm – 9.30pm.

- We also run football tournaments every Friday afternoon at Prospect Park between 4.30pm-6.30pm and at the Academy Sport Leisure Centre in Whitley, between 7.30pm - 10pm in the evening. 

All the Kickz events are available to all aged between 11-19 years old. And there’s no need to book, simply turn up at a session and get involved. For more info call our Community Trust department on 0118 907 2161 or email gwebb@readingfc.co.uk.

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