Kieran Foster: Getting a kick out of Kicks

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After getting involved with Saints Foundation over three years ago, Kieran is now setting his sights on Kicks playing a big part in his future…

Back when Saints Foundation were known as Saints in the Community, the Premier League Kicks programme was being pioneered in Southampton’s local community.

With the aim of providing constructive activities, sports and personal development sessions to young people in England and Wales’ most hard to reach areas, Kicks has been using the power of football to engage youngsters for over a decade.

Saints Foundation have been at the forefront of the programme since its inception, and over three years ago, Kieran Foster, 16, was one of thousands of young people in Southampton who decided to give Saints Kicks a go.

“I first got involved when I saw a Facebook article advertising Saints Kicks at Fleming Park Leisure Centre,” Kieran says. “It was on a Friday night and I had nothing else to do, so I decided to go along.”

“That first session was over three and a half years ago now, and I’ve enjoyed every single one I’ve attended since.”

For over 10 years, Saints Kicks has been using Southampton FC’s influence in the local community to engage with young people in hard to reach areas, reducing incidences of anti-social behaviour, promoting community cohesion and enhancing the development of young people.

“The best thing about Saints Kicks is that I’ve been able to learn a lot about football and coaching from the Saints Foundation staff, and I’ve also met loads of new people and even occasionally travel with the Kicks team to compete at other venues across the country.”

“Through Saints Kicks I was also invited to be a part of Kicks Team Talk.”

Kicks Team Talk gives its participants the opportunity to discuss and develop ideas on how they want their Kicks sessions to be delivered.

“Since that first meeting I haven’t looked back. I attend every Team Talk meeting I can, it’s a great opportunity to have my opinions listened too, and it’s just another great thing that Kicks has to offer.”

“I have developed so many attributes through Saints Kicks. I’m more confident, I’ve got a feeling of belonging to Southampton FC, and I feel more connected to the local community.”

“It’s also great being able to communicate my ideas, and have them listened to and potentially taken forward into future Kicks sessions.”

“Since engaging with Saints Kicks my aspirations have changed a lot, I’m now hoping to enrol in the Foundation’s Post-16 Education programme in 2018, with the hope that I can continue to be involved with Saints Foundation.”

“I hope that through Saints I can continue to develop, and one day I’d love for it to be me delivering Saints Kicks sessions in the community.”

To find out more about Saints Foundation’s Kicks programme, call us on 0845 6889370 or email omorton@saintsfc.co.uk.

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