Darren Bent joined forces with Great Britain basketball star Pops Mensah-Bonsu last night in support of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation's Kickz project on the Ferry Lane Estate.
The flagship project, which was launched in 2006 by then Prime Minister Tony Blair, focuses on building safer, stronger communities by investing in young people, providing them with alternatives to a potential involvement in crime and anti-social behaviour.
Benty met up with Tottenham-born NBA star Pops to see for themselves how the project is engaging local youths through sporting activities including football, basketball and boxing.
"Crime and antisocial behaviour is certainly an issue in inner-city areas around London, so any way in which a football club like Spurs can give them positive alternatives in life is a massive plus," said Darren.
"Myself and Pops met last year to give a talk to a group of Haringey youngsters about the same issues, and we were both very impressed by what we've seen at Kickz. I think the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation should be very proud about what they are achieving here."
Pops, who is set to star for Team GB against Czech Republic this weekend, added: "Sport teaches both kids and adults all sorts of skills that can be transferred into their everyday lives. I hope that seeing people like me and Darren will act as a motivation and inspiration to these youngsters to know that if you work hard enough you can achieve anything."
In April 2006, Tottenham Hotspur was selected as one of three professional football clubs to pilot Kickz.
In September 2007, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the expansion of the Kickz programme as part of a three-year multi-million pound investment from the Football Foundation and Metropolitan Police, along with support from the DCMS via the Premier League's good causes fund and the youth volunteering charity 'v'.
As a result, the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has since been able to roll out a further six Kickz projects across north London and the Club's local communities, engaging young people for a total of 48 hours per week, 2,496 hours per year.
As well as football and a range of other sports, Kickz gives participants the opportunity to take part in music, dance and film-making, as well as offering advice on safe and healthy lifestyles, and workshops on the danger of guns, knives, drugs and alcohol.
Tottenham Hotspur Kickz operates at the following venues:
- Ferry Lane, Tottenham (Haringey) - (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 7pm - 10pm)
- Northumberland Park, Tottenham (Haringey) - (Wednesday and Friday 6.30pm - 9.30pm)
- Brimsdown Football Club (Enfield) - (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 6.30pm - 9.30pm)
- Chace Community School (Enfield) - (Thursday and Friday 6.30pm - 9.30pm)
- Rushcroft/Chingford Hall (Waltham Forest) - (Wednesday and Friday 6.30pm - 9.30pm) / (Monday 6.30pm - 9.30pm)
- Westcroft Estate, Cricklewood (Barnet) - (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 6.30pm - 9.30pm).
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