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City star kicks off project

PUBLISHED: 11:00 03 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:56 03 July 2010

Norwich City's Lee Croft with youngsters at the FITC event.

Norwich City's Lee Croft with youngsters at the FITC event.

FOOTBALLIn the Community have launched their new social inclusion project “Kickz” at Cobholm Cage.

All the Premier League and 11 Football League clubs are now involved in Kickz, which offers 12 to 18-year-old boys and girls the chance to take part in positive activity three nights

a week.

FOOTBALLIn the Community have launched their new social inclusion project “Kickz” at Cobholm Cage.

All the Premier League and 11 Football League clubs are now involved in Kickz, which offers 12 to 18-year-old boys and girls the chance to take part in positive activity three nights

a week.

The programme aims to “build safer, stronger communities through the development of young people's potential”.

Norwich City first team player Lee Croft was there to kick off the first session, and offered his full support to such an important initiative.

He said: “It's a really good idea and they are trying to keep kids off the street. I like working with kids, and it's trying to keep them out of trouble and help them do better things with their lives so it's a really good project.

“Where I grew up we had a soccer school on a Saturday morning which I used to go to, but there was nothing on the coaching side other than our local teams.

“Kids who don't have the chance to play in a local team now, it's good to get them off the streets and help them play football and get involved in activities.”

Commenting on the wide variety of activities the project offers, Croft added: “They have dance sessions, boxing and loads of different things to get involved in.

“I think kids look up to footballers and football clubs, and having the chance to

work with football coaches is great for them, so I'm

sure they'll look forward to getting involved.

“I always enjoyed football when I was young, and I've been lucky enough to have gone from enjoying it to having a career in it. Obviously it's shaped what I'm doing and my life so you never know, some of these kids could be doing what I'm doing in 10 years' time.”

The project got off the ground thanks to funding from the Football Foundation, Active Norfolk, Youth Inclusion Support Panel, Football in the Community, Broadland Housing Association, Community Connections and Wherry Housing Association.

The free sessions run every week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 5 to 7pm and will not only provide football coaching and competitions but will offer a range of other positive activities including basketball, street dance, boxing, music and arts workshops.

Developmental and educational sessions will also be run, dealing with issues such as healthy lifestyles and the dangers of getting involved in crime, drugs and carrying weapons.

Jim Smerdon, Superintendent for Great Yarmouth Police, said: “We are really pleased to be working with NCFC and their partners. We hope this project has a positive impact and makes a difference to people's lives.”

To get involved in the sessions call 01603 761122 or just go along to The Cage to give it a go.

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