The latest boost to the project came when Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP joined Club captain Ledley King and a host of other VIP guests visiting a football session to see the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation coaches’ work at first hand.
Having blown the whistle to kick off a special Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal Kickz 6-a-side match, the Prime Minister, along with Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, James Purnell MP, chatted to coaches and participants. He said: “I think it’s great that young people like this can come off the streets, be part of a team, part of a community group and play football. It cuts crime but it also builds a huge community spirit in the area. The contribution of the professional footballers as well as the police is making for the success of this project.”
Ledley, who accompanied the Prime Minister on his visit to the Estate, said: “I think a lot of Clubs are beginning to start backing these initiatives and that is only a good thing. I’ve played my part in a few as have the other players at the Club and this is something we’ve been doing with the (Tottenham Hotspur) Foundation for a while now.”
Spurs players are very active in the local community - at least one senior player a week is out in and around North London, often in conjunction with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, supporting projects or charities that can really make a difference to people’s lives, something that is not lost on the Prime Minister:
“Ideas like this are making a difference but we can do more. More footballers can get involved with football community projects and more Clubs can be at the centre of community and charitable life in their local area like this. The more that Clubs are involved in the communities, the more young people will benefit.”
Since being chosen to pilot the Kickz project 18 months ago, Spurs’ free football programme on the Ferry Lane Estate in Tottenham has gone from strength to strength.