Beijing 2008 may be about to kick off, but the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation this week staged its own Games by bringing together its six Kickz projects to take part in a mini-Olympics held at Lea Valley Athletics Centre, Enfield.
The Foundation run the estate-based free sport social inclusion and crime diversion programme at six venues 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.
Each project was invited to enter two competitors for each of the following events:
· 4 x 200m
· Long Jump
In April 2006, Tottenham Hotspur was selected as one of three professional football clubs to pilot Kickz , with the main aim being to provide young people with alternatives to a potential involvement with crime and anti-social behaviour within a constructive and safe environment.
The Club piloted the original project on the Ferry Lane housing estate in Tottenham with great success.
In September 2007, 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'.
Gary Broadhurst, the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation's Community Development Manager, said: "An Olympic theme is topical with the Beijing Games starting this week, and one of my coaches, Terry Fogarty, came up with this ingenious idea. The heats took place at our various Kickz projects before the cream of the crop came here to the Lea Valley Centre.
"There is often a negative perception of young people nowadays, but programmes like Kickz, thanks to funding from our partners, can actually give participants something constructive and positive to do with their time.
"Our programme has been proven to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime in neighbourhoods in which Kickz operates while sessions are in place."
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)
COMING SOON - Watch footage of the Kickz Olympics exclusively on Spurs TV Online...