The annual awards ceremony took place at Stamford Bridge on 2nd April, where Cathal and Ismet joined fellow Kickz volunteers and participants from 46 football clubs across the country.
Kickz is a Premier League initiative, which uses the power of football to inspire with young people to turn their lives around through community cohesion sessions. Manchester United Foundation has adapted the concept with the implementation of the Street Reds programme, which aims to engage some of the most hard to reach young people in the local community by delivering football coaching and a range of alternative activity sessions at times when they could otherwise be engaged in anti-social behaviour.
21-year-old Ismet from Moston has been volunteering at the Burnage and Salford Street Reds projects for over a year and has recently started work as a paid coach. He was nominated by colleagues at the Manchester United Foundation for Volunteer of the Year at the Kickz Awards and was presented his trophy by Marc Chapman from BBC Radio 5 Live.
Ismet had a tough upbringing and decided to get involved with Street Reds to make a difference to disadvantaged children, with whom he can relate:
“I want to do youth work and help underprivileged kids like myself and volunteering at United can help me to do that. I could have gone off the rails when I was younger but I was motivated and had self-belief. I want to be a role model and show these kids that you don’t have to choose the wrong path.”
16-year-old Cathal attended the Street Reds project in his hometown of Ordsall, Salford for two years before becoming a volunteer. He has recently completed his Level 1 Coaching Badge and progressed to being a paid member of staff. Nominated as the Foundation’s Inspiring Young Person of the year, Cathal was presented his award by Holland and Juventus legend Edgar Davids. He commented, “I now know what I want to do in the future, just because of Kickz."
For more information about the 2013 Kickz Awards, visit the Premier League website at http://bit.ly/10rjGwd.
For more information about the Foundation’s Street Reds programme and session times please click here.