The Foundation has been delivering the Premier League Kicks programme since 2014, offering opportunities to play football recreationally, a social and safe space with chances to volunteer and be engaged with the local community.
In our 2022/23 year, the Premier League funded campaign had volunteers involved in social action projects around the community, including a Protect the Planet Challenge and refugees clothes-donation project at the Broadfield Stadium and local sessions.
We also sent a girls team and a mixed team to represent the club earlier in the year to compete in a regional cup competition, finishing third and second respectively, hosted by Brighton and Hove Albion.
With these successes the Foundation wanted to help expand on its provisions and reschedule the programme to increase participation and better reflect young players’ needs.
The Broadfield Stadium ball court sessions held every Friday have changed times to give specific groups a better opportunity to play the game in Crawley.
Since the relaunch, the number of young girls playing has doubled on a Friday evening and with a 30 per cent increase in age-specific groups playing on the ball court.
Sessions at Dormans Youth Arts Centre and Oriel High School have also seen an increase in players with improved female engagement.
Foundation community development officer Billy Lewis said: “It has been great to be back for a new Premier League Kicks year and we’ve been excited to welcome new participants to our Kicks family. We can’t wait for the year ahead with competitions, tournaments, games and social action projects at the core of our player’s community efforts to come.
"The programme has been so welcoming to young players and volunteers in Crawley and has been able to give them a stage and ownership in the initiative.”
As the new season begins, the programme’s community development department is looking to recruit another community development officer.
Details for the position are available on the Foundation website and is part of a recruitment drive which has openings for a QTS-qualified BTEC sport tutor in the education academy department; and a Premier League Primary Stars coordinator to help support young students engage in sport and education within Crawley schools using the Premier League brand.
n Crawley Town Community Foundation’s vision is to positively change lives through sport and football. Its mission is to use the power of sport and football to engage, inspire and empower people. Working with participants and the community, together with local, regional and national partners, the foundation aims to positively change lives and support people in health and wellbeing, sports participation, equalities and inclusion, education, enterprise, employment and skills, regeneration and community safety.
Visit www.ctcommunityfoundation.com or find the Foundation on Twitter @crawleytowncf, Instagram @crawleytowncf, or Facebook @ctcommunityfoundation