Participants on our Kicks social inclusion programme recently represented the Chelsea Foundation at this year’s Premier League Kicks Cup competition at the University of Warwick.
Two teams represented the Blues with an under-16 mixed tournament running in tandem with a girls-only competition at this year’s annual event which showcases the Premier League Kicks social inclusion programme.
Launched in 2006, the Premier League Kicks programme uses the power of football clubs to regularly engage young people in activity with the goal of inspiring them to develop their potential, enhance their wellbeing and positively impact their communities to be safer, stronger and more inclusive.
Foundation coaches Thomas Horrigan, Mahnoor Rauf and Tyra Mills, who had all been former participants on a Kicks programme and had also previously played in the Kicks cup, helped lead mixed side to the last 16, while the girls team were knocked out in the last eight, losing a penalty shoot-out to Bournemouth.
Chelsea Foundation senior social inclusion officer Andrew Ducille said: ‘It was a fantastic day in Coventry, supporting our Kicks participants at the Premier League Kicks Cup.
‘The Chelsea Foundation teams were picked from various kicks sessions across West London and on the day they got to compete against the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle.
‘I was extremely proud of what the team achieved on the day. They unfortunately both lost in the knockout stages losing on penalty shootouts but the way they all came together to support each other was fantastic! I couldn’t have asked for anymore.
‘Alongside the pride of seeing the players achieve so much, was the positives of seeing 3 former Chelsea Kicks participants leading the Chelsea Foundation teams as coaches.
‘They really empathised the importance of the programme and the pathways for those involved.’
One of those participants representing the Foundation was 16-year-old Chloe Hattersley, who following some challenges, was provided the opportunity to continue playing football through the Kicks programme.
She said: ‘The Chelsea Foundation has given me a lot of footballing experience.
‘I’m now really confident and I can wear my Chelsea kit and think this is where I want to be when I’m older.’