KICKZ KIDS QUIZ IVANOVIC
Participants in the Chelsea FC Foundation's Kickz programme met Branislav Ivanovic at Cobham for a Q and A yesterday afternoon.
The Serbian international posed for photos and signed autographs before fielding questions from the aspiring footballers, who earned the opportunity to meet Ivanovic after winning their local Kickz football tournament.
'It was great to meet them,' said Ivanovic. 'They asked some really good questions and they were really excited, which was nice to see.
'The Kickz programme is really important and it reminds these guys that they can achieve. It's also great for me to meet them because they had some really good questions about becoming a footballer.'
Kickz began as a pilot project in London between the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police in 2006, with the aim of using football to bring communities together and engage with young people. The vision was to build safer, stronger, more respectful communities through the development of young peoples' potential.
The Chelsea FC Foundation runs six Kickz projects across four boroughs, totalling 15 sessions a week. These boroughs are Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster and Wandsworth. In total, the Chelsea FC Foundation works with 450 young people per week.
'It was brilliant to see the excitement in all the kids' faces as they waited for Branislav,' said the Chelsea Foundation's Gareth Davies, who runs the Kickz project.
'They had an amazing afternoon and it's something that will stay with them forever. It was a really inspiring event for all of them.'
Current Academy player Walter Figueira came from the Chelsea FC Foundation's Kickz project in Wandsworth. The Chelsea FC Foundation also currently employs three previous participants of the Kickz projects as coaches after helping them gain FA qualifications.