Albion Under-21 defender Glen Rea is taking part in the AITC Kicks initiative


PUBLISHED
13:38 12th February 2014
I grew up in quite a tough area so I know how football and sport can help keep you out of trouble at that age."
Glen Rea
Albion under-21 defender Glen Rea joined dozens of local youngsters in Ore to help launch a new initiative aimed at using football to reduce anti-social behaviour and youth crime.
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The ‘Premier League Kicks’ programme run by Albion in the Community will see hundreds of 12-19 year-olds take part in free, weekly football sessions in Ore and St. Leonards.
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The programme aims to engage young people in areas which can have problems with anti-social behaviour through sessions run by AITC coaches.
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Sussex Police and the Hastings Community Safety Partnership are supporting the initiative and have worked closely with AITC to identify areas to run the sessions, which will also offer young people opportunities to access education and training.
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Speaking at the launch, which took place at HASLA (Hastings and St. Leonards Academies) the 19-year-old centre back said, “I really enjoyed being involved in the session and meeting the lads who took part.
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“I grew up in quite a tough area so I know how football and sport can help keep you out of trouble at that age.
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“It can also give you the confidence and discipline you sometimes need to make positive changes in your life.”
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AITC’s Kick’s projects in Brighton and Hove have been running since 2008 and are credited by police for helping to reduce anti-social behaviour. The charity is expanding the programme into Hastings for the first time and officers from the Hastings Neighbourhood Police Team (NPT) are hoping the programme will have a similar impact locally.*
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Inspector Veale from the Hastings Neighbourhood Policing Team added, "This is a fantastic initiative and it is great to see the Albion do this sort of work locally.
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“This type of wide reaching diversion for the young people of Hastings and St Leonards is hugely important and has many ranging community benefits.
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“These include the reduction of anti-social behaviour and associated low level crimes, as well as personal development for individuals around healthy living, team work and leadership."
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The three-year programme is part of the national Premier League Kicks scheme, which supports and funds over 100 projects at 42 Premier and Football League clubs across the country.
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Further funding for the AITC project has come from the Local Community Safety Partnership. HASLA (Hastings and St. Leonards Academies) are also supporting the scheme by hosting the sessions.
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Martin Schooley, from AITC, who runs the Kicks programme, said, "The project has had a hugely positive impact in terms of reducing anti-social behaviour and youth crime in the areas it has worked in so we are delighted to bring it to Hastings with the support of the police and the Hastings Community Safety Partnership."
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AITC are running four sessions every week – two in Ore and two in St. Leonards.
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Regular, weekly sessions are taking place on the following dates and venues:
Wednesdays / Fridays, 5-6pm – HASLA Sports Centre, Ore
Tuesdays / Thursdays, 5-6pm - St. Leonards Academy, St. Leonards
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For more information and to register for a free session, please call 07921 253085 or email martin.schooley@albioninthecom munity.org.uk




Original article