The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation uses sport, and in particular football, to improve the quality of life and outcomes for children and young people. Working with a wide range of partners, such as local schools, businesses and charitable trusts, the Foundation designs sports programmes that engage with all sections of the community. The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation Kickz programme has been awarded £48,640 from People's Postcode Trust, a grant-giving organisation funded entirely by players of People's Postcode Lottery.
Based in the borough of Haringey in London, the Kickz programme uses the appeal of the Premier League football club brand to engage young people who are otherwise difficult to reach. The programme's mission is to create safer, stronger, more respectful communities and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour through the development of young peoples' potential.
Young people aged 12 to 18 years are free to participate in the programme. These free sessions also aim to break down barriers between the police and young people, while providing social support and education.
The Kickz team train three times a week on the Ferry Lane Estate which provides an all-weather surface perfect for football, tennis and basketball. The development of the Ferry Lane Cruyff Court was also supported by funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery.
A team of youngsters from the Kickz project recently got the opportunity to compete at the European Cruyff Court Championships in Barcelona. This Championship sees teams from all across Europe come together, each representing a country which has a Cruyff Court. Kickz' under-13s team beat their Arsenal counterparts 19-9 over two legs to become the National Cruyff Court Champions and travel to Spain.
Spurs made an impressive start drawing their opening game 0-0 against the Netherlands, before comprehensively beating Spain's representatives 3-1. Losing their game to Denmark meant that their opponents progressed to the final. The Kickz players were satisfied with how far they got in the competition and felt proud of their achievements.
"Taking part in the Cruyff Court European Championships was a once in a lifetime experience for these young men, some of whom had never travelled overseas before", said Alex White, Community Development Manager of Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
"The opportunity to compete against teams from across Europe as well as meeting football legends Johan Cruyff and AC Milan's Bojan Krkic was unbelievable. On the pitch the boys faced tough opposition in Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark, narrowly missing a place in the finals on goal difference.
"Despite the result they can take great pride for their hard work and efforts while representing Tottenham Hotspur and England."
Councillor Joe Goldberg, Haringey's Council's Cabinet Member responsible for Youth, said: "A huge well done to the Kickz team who did brilliantly in the competition. I'm thrilled to support such a positive project like Kickz and the council was very happy to provide some funding to help them get to Barcelona. While the team didn't manage to go all the way and win in Spain, they've certainly made some great memories."