Premier League Kicks programme helps young people

The Premier League Kicks programme delivered by the Trust helps young people. We take a look at a participant who has flourished as a result of taking part in the programme…

Rebecca faced hardships early in life; her father passed away when she was only eight years old. In the following years, she struggled with self-assurance and tended to avoid social circles, preferring the company of her siblings and extended family. She also shouldered significant responsibilities in caring for her younger siblings.

Regarding football, Rebecca described it as “alright”, but not something she felt particularly drawn to. However, with some caution due to seeing the Technique Stadium as “huge”, she decided to participate in the Premier League Kicks during the summer.

And since then, Rebecca wasted no time immersing herself, saying: “I made new friends and did loads of fun things I never thought I’d get to do, like target practice games and it was like Army games with Oli who was a really nice coach. Oli’s sessions were really fun. I also got to run around the pitch which I was really good at.”

Empowered by her newfound confidence, Rebecca decided to try the PL Kicks roller skating session on Thursday evenings, something she had never attempted before. She said: “I got better at it the more sessions I came to, and I want to keep coming back. I liked having the chance to do something other than sit around. It was really fun because I got to be with my friends and got a break from looking after my younger sisters at home.”

Rebecca’s remarkable growth as a young person during her time with the Trust has been witnessed, and it has been a rewarding journey to be a part of. Her mother, Nikki, perfectly summed it up by saying: “Before Rebecca got the opportunity to join in with PL Kicks, she was a really shy girl who lacked a lot of confidence in herself and struggled to open up to people with how she was feeling and what was bothering her.

“This mainly came from losing her dad five years ago. She was then given the opportunities with PL Kicks to do things she never thought she would do, from learning new sports to meeting new people.

“She learned it was okay for her to show all her different emotions, that it was okay to speak to people about how she was feeling.

“Most of all if gave her confidence, it gave her freedom and it taught her skills and abilities she didn’t know she had and these have stuck with her; now she shines, she enjoys life, and her confidence keeps growing.

“I truly believe that without PL Kicks she wouldn’t be who she is today.”