Starting in 2006, PL Kicks has a long history of using the power of football and the value of sports participation to help youngsters in some of the most high-need areas.
The scheme has enabled thousands of youngsters to find routes into education, training and employment with volunteering being a key component.
Manchester United Foundation has its own adaptation of Premier League Kicks named Street Reds, which runs at a number of locations across Greater Manchester.
Street Reds offers free football sessions and alternative activities for young people aged 8-18, giving them the opportunity to learn new skills and gain qualifications in a supportive and positive environment.
The PL Kicks 15-Year Anniversary campaign offers clubs the opportunity to celebrate the longevity, impact, delivery, workforce, and most importantly the young people who take part in Premier League Kicks programmes. With this the Foundation also hosted a U14 mixed celebration football tournament for other clubs across the North West.
All clubs have also nominated a Local Legend who has taken part in, volunteered, or worked on the programme and who has inspired others through their dedication, work ethic and own personal development.
Our PL Kicks Local Legend is Joab Westwood, who has worked with Manchester United Foundation for over 10 years.
Having previously been a participant himself in the Kicks programme Joab has now progressed to being a head coach at our flagship Old Trafford Sports Barn site, the same site where his journey began.
As part of his award for being name Manchester United’s Local Legend, Joab received a signed Panini football card and video message from fellow Red Legends, Rio Ferdinand. Rio said: “Joab, congratulations on being named Manchester United's Premier League Kicks Local Legend.
“You've been there from the start, 15 years ago, first as a participant, and now as head coach. You’re a man who goes above and beyond to help others in the community that you grew up in, supporting the development of a whole generation of young ballers and volunteers; keep up the great work.”
Joab Westwood said: “It is amazing to be recognised, because when I come here every week, I don't see this as a job - I do my job in the daytime and then I come here to enjoy myself and have a good time and see the young people have fun.
“I check in with them all each week and build a relationship with everyone; it’s always great to see how they’re doing and support them where I can. To be selected for doing this is massive and I want to thank Manchester United Foundation and PL Kicks for the opportunity and recognition.”
Ferdinand added: "For 15 years Premier League Kicks has been using the universal language of football to bring communities together and inspire a new generation of young people, providing positive role models who can give them belief and can help to steer them on the right path in life.
"Legend is a word you hear a lot in football, but legends aren't just created in stadiums. The coaches, mentors, volunteers and participants who have fulfilled their potential thanks to these weekly sessions all deserve to be called legends."