Youngsters honoured at 2013 ceremonyA host of inspiring young people received the recognition they deserved at the Kickz Awards 2013 as volunteers, mentors and some of the country’s most purposeful youngsters were honoured at the 2013 Kickz Awards ceremony at Stamford Bridge on 3rd April 2013.
Among the hundreds present at the glittering ceremony were former Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus midfielder Edgar Davids, Chelsea defender Paulo Ferreira, England international Rachel Yankey and Policing Minister Damian Green, who presented awards celebrating the good work undertaken by those who have helped turn around people’s lives in some of the most disadvantaged parts of the community.
Reading FC Community Trust Kickz project was nominated for 5 out of the 12 categories - Outstanding Partner support, Inspiring Young Person, Alternative Achievement Award Volunteer of the Year Award and Outstanding Kickz Delivery.
Jack Simpson (Inspiring Young Person, pictured above) and Chloe Bartlett (Volunteer of the Year) took home the awards for Reading FC Kickz as the project scooped 2 awards on the day. Reading FC Kickz has now scooped an astonishing 7 national Kickz awards in the last 3 years with the project continuing to be recognised as model of best practice nationally.
Reading FC Kickz 2012 Inspiring Female person award winner Leah Beal, formed part of this year’s judging panel and also presented an award on the day, as well as speaking to a number of national organisations regarding the benefits of the Kickz project.
“I am really proud of everyone involved with Reading FC Kickz project as we have had another fantastic year and we are making a huge difference to the local community. Being here today, seeing so many young people and what they’ve done is incredible. It’s fantastic for them to actually be recognised for what they’ve achieved. Without doubt, if it was not for Kickz there would not be so many positive young people out there who realise and understand that they can achieve whatever they want if they put their mind to it.
Football is a universal language, so we’re using things they can relate to which are cool but also which young people enjoy. So by finding that common ground we can move them away from anti-social behaviour and low-level crime and indeed move them away from being a victim of crime as well. So in that sense we’re keeping them and their community safe. Without doubt, it’s a winner all round” added the Royals Social Inclusion Officer Gary Webb.
With 7,775 volunteers helping, over 68,000 participants in over 100 Kickz projects nationally, over the last year youngsters have been inspired to achieve over 9,000 qualifications and accreditations. With the backing of 46 football clubs, 20 police forces nationwide and over 650 partners over 500 people have gained employment with clubs. Tellingly, a 60% reduction in anti-social behaviour has been reported where Kickz projects take place. The project continues to have a huge impact and the plans for Reading FC Kickz project mean that the local community will benefit for years to come.