More than 130 young people took part in a football tournament at Northolt High School last week in partnership with the Premier League.
The tournament, run with the Premier League’s Kicks project, saw 10 community organisations from across the country play a series of six-a-side matches.
It intended to achieve more than just playing football for the participants from all over London, and beyond, because it was organised to coincide with the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Sceptre Week of Action, to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime and drugs in the capital.
The tournament included a powerful workshop from Paul Hannaford, a former heroin addict, who was also involved in gangs as a teenager. He said: “I strongly believe that every young person deserves to be educated on the dangers of drugs and knife crime. Early intervention is so important.”
Brentford FC Community Sports Trust ran the event and its chief executive Lee Doyle said: “The Premier League Kicks programme builds relationships with young people through the medium of sport. As a result, trust develops between the coach and participants, which means that when we run events like today we receive a positive response.
“A young person faces a number of decisions when growing up; we aim to be a positive influence in making the right choices.”
Fifteen-year-old Alamin, who took part in the tournament, said: “I’ve been involved with the project since September; events like these are great because they keep me busy and help improve my self-confidence.”
For more information on Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, visit its website.