LFC Foundation's Premier League Kicks programme held a series of motivational events for local youngsters during the recent half-term holidays.
Building on the success of the Kicks Football+ initiative, the new educational sessions aim to address the key issues affecting young people – helping to reduce anti-social behaviour while positively impacting their mindset and long-term personal development.
Participants from across the city – aged 14 to 19 – attended the three-day course, which covered a range of hard-hitting topics and featured contributions from influential local individuals and organisations offering advice, guidance and inspiration.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service kicked off the week, delivering a road safety workshop which saw the participants look at the impact of road traffic collisions involving pedestrians, the implications of not wearing seatbelts and the dangers of speeding and drink/drug driving.
Former Royal Marine Andy Grant, who was injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2009 and has since gone on to become a world record holder, spoke to the youngsters about his incredible journey and the importance of having a strong mindset to cope with different challenges in life.
Representatives from The Spirit of Football – a community organisation dedicated to promoting unity, fair play, respect and inclusion ahead of the FIFA World Cup this summer – engaged the youngsters in their award-winning educational workshop ‘One Ball, One World.’
The participants also visited Anfield and North Liverpool Boxing Club, where they took part in a powerful anti-knife crime workshop run by youth worker and boxing coach Alan Walsh as part of his city-wide campaign to eradicate gang and knife culture.
The week ended with a session at Everton Sports Park Centre with former LFC youth player Terry Nelson, who - following two kidney transplants - won numerous Gold medals at the British Transplant Games and went on to develop the revolutionary buoyancy suits used in aqua running.
Terry spoke about overcoming adversity and making your own success in life, before taking the young people through a challenging aqua running session and explaining the health and wellbeing benefits it provides.
PL Kicks project lead, Tony Cosgrove, said: “It has been a truly inspiring week – not only for the young people who took part, but for the coaches, too.
“We are able to engage with many young people through our football delivery, but the real challenge is to encourage the participants to attend these alternative activities and educational workshops to promote key life skills and positive messages.
“It’s fantastic to see so many of our young people get involved in these sessions and learn from such a wide range of inspirational people.”
For more information on the Kicks Football+ programme, click here.