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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Wilko Gives Programme 'Kick Start'

ANDY WILKINSON helped 'kick start' a new sports project being run across Stoke-on-Trent by the Club's Community Trust.

The Potters defender joined youngsters at the Discovery Academy in Bentilee last week for the official launch of the new Kicks programme.

Kicks will operate in five areas across the City - Bentilee, Blurton, Meir, Normacot and Shelton - and is aimed to engage with both males and females aged between 14 and 25.

Wilkinson joined youngsters at the launch in Bentilee and met those signing up take up football, basketball, boxing and fitness.

"It is a lovely facility," he said.

"I got the chance to walk around and have a look at everything and it's great.

"It has everything needed to help children progress and develop in the sports they want to do. Any sort of sport programme is great because it gets children outside into the fresh air and off their computers and programmes like this mean a lot of children can get involved.

"When I was a child I used to be outside playing football. My mum had to tell me to come inside. So having something like this in the city is a real benefit not only to children but to the whole community, too."

The initiative will run for three years with investment from the Premier League, following the success of Premier League 4 Sport and the previous Kickz project.

Sessions take place every night of the week across the City, at times which suit young people and in a style that is inclusive and welcoming.

Ben Gibson, the Kicks participation manager for the Club's Community Trust added, "The Kicks programme provides sports and opportunities to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"We also run a volunteer scheme where youngsters get a practical experience in coaching as well additional qualifications to help improve their job prospects."

For more information on what courses are currently delivered, click HERE.

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