Screening of Blacks Can’t Swim Rewind explores the stigma associated with people of colour and swimming

The film hit the screens of Abbey Theatre, on October 15. This was a first for the community and sparked conversations around the film’s boundary pushing narratives


DURING BLACK History Month, KickOff@3 brought a fun-filled evening to the community of St Albans with the screening of Blacks Can’t Swim Rewind.

The film hit the screens of Abbey Theatre, on October 15. This was a first for the community and undoubtedly sparked conversations around the film’s boundary pushing narratives. 

Blacks Can’t Swim Rewind is an all important film which explores the stigma associated with people of colour and swimming. The film is the third in the documentary series and intends to change the narrative through a collection of powerful conversations. Newly released to Sky Store and various other digital platforms, Blacks Can’t Swim Rewind highlights the importance of water safety and why the ability to swim is an essential skill to possess.

Ed Accura, writer and producer of Blacks Can’t Swim and co-founder of the Black Swimming Association (BSA) said: “The Blacks Can’t Swim Rewind film documentary opens up sensitive conversations on the disproportionate numbers of people not engaging in aquatics through the lived experiences of people from African, Caribbean and Asian heritage.

“It’s only by having these conversations do we have any hope in changing the narrative.”

Statistics show that 95% of black adults and 93% of Asian adults do not swim and 80% of black children and 78% of Asian children leave primary school unable to swim, as per the Sports England Survey, 2019.

The youth-led event was co-hosted by Samson Alexander, Jones Kamil (who both play roles within the film) and Rhiann O’Connor (social media lead for KickOff@3).

KickOff@3 prides itself in providing opportunities for the youth. The event also featured a series of discussion panels, guest performances and allocated areas for those wishing to seek advice in water safety and various other sectors. The evening also saw special guests in the form of the Royal Navy.

Kickoff@3 is a collaborative initiative set up by Michael Wallace and Ashley Levien, who wish to engage with young people, using sport, music and other imaginative ideas to spread awareness.

The organisation has gone from strength to strength, positively impacting hundreds of young people across various communities in the UK through its many initiatives, campaigns and workshops. The pair, along with KickOff@3’s youth volunteers, ambassadors and partners, work hard to educate young people, diverting vulnerable youth from criminal activity a

Following on from the success of this event, a week later KickOff@3 and Ed Accura also screened the film in partnership with Nottingham Police at Trent Bridge cricket ground. It was another special event which had young people performing.

Wallace, co-founder of KickOff@3 said: “I am absolutely delighted and humbled that KickOff@3 along with young people from the local community of St Albans are working in close partnership with the BSA and Ed Accura.

“After our huge community impact, there is now a call for action for police forces nationally and key stakeholders to believe in us, by working in close partnership with Kickoff@3 and Ed Accura.

“We’re working together to continue to spread the importance of water safety and increase drowning prevention rates.

“I would like to say a big thank you to all of our sponsors, partners and volunteers who believed in our ethos to deliver this specific screening within St Albans.

“It has taken months of hard work, dedication and tireless campaigning to achieve objectives. Much love to Savia Rocks for her wonderful photography during the evening and Tony from Dronesync, for his amazing film footage from the evening also.

“Hopefully going forward we can encourage more black and Asians to learn how to swim and ultimately save lives.”

kickoffat3 10th july

National Finale 2022

Kickoff@3 July 2002 was held in loving memory of Daniel De-Gale and the teams will be playing for the memorable ‘Daniel De-Gale Cup’.

Daniel suffered from a form of blood cancer and sadly passed away in October 2008. His parents set up the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) to raise awareness about stem cell, blood and organ donation, with a focus of donors from African and Caribbean communities. Further information re their life-saving work can be found at www.aclt.org

Twenty six teams travelled from around the country to take part in this amazing football tournemant from ages 14’s and under 16’s with boys and girls competing, as inclusivity is key.

Trophies, medals and prizes where awarded to players to reward their hard work, enthusiasm and football skills.

Present on the day where numerous exhibitors and vendors on site, which included the RAF, ACLT, The Vine Cellar, Youth Unity, the Black Swimming Association (BSA) and the Metropolitan Black Police Association (Met BPA) who are also supporters and sponsors.

There was an amazing ‘Pop-up Runway’, a fashion show with local designers and a live DJ.

We have been running our national tournament for five years and our ethos is to support and empower young people whilst spreading awareness of multiple charities like ACLT. Alongside our football initiative, Kickoff@3, we have also delivered different events which involve basketball, running and music. These were aptly named ‘Tipoff@3’ and ‘Runoff@3’ among others. Additional initiatives are in the works, as we are forever looking at ways to engage young people in positive activities, as those previously have provided vast career opportunities and life skills to young people.

Some amazing interviews by Albert of the Racing Media Academy and Kickoff@3 volunteer Sammy 777

Great to see so many young people with a voice, as Kickoff@3 gives them their own World Cup experience.

Please click the link to download and access the clips


PHOTO’s to follow

download (6)

WINDRUSH 2022 – featuring Tony Wallace, co-founder Father

Paying tribute to the Windrush generation-Tony Wallace shares heartfelt views about a generation of people.

Between 1984 and 1970 nearly half a million people from the Caribbean landed on the British shores to start a new life here.Due to the severe labour shortages following the Second World War, Britain looked to the West Indies to help them fill the many employment gaps the country was facing.

As a result, many members of the Caribbean communities took the chance to start a new life across the water and leave their home behind. Now commonly known as the Windrush generation, they have made a huge impact on our society and should be remembered and rightly respected for their contributions to British society and history.

Tony Wallace, father of Michael Wallace shares his thoughts today in a very moving video looking at the hardships the Windrush generation suffered. Tony’s son Michael is the one of the Kick Off@3 founders who is an amazing community champion who has dedicated his life to helping our youngsters the best way he can. He is also a serving police officer who has just been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for his fantastic dedication to helping communities and being a real community hero.

Michael and his father Tony are a real inspiration and it is important for us to pay them and the Windrush generation the right respects.

Michael Wallace

Met officers and staff recognised in Queen’s birthday honours

Eight serving and former Met officers and staff have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for their achievements and long service in policing.


The recipients are:

Paula Cooper, Police Constable – British Empire Medal (BEM)

Susan Hill, Specialist Operations training unit manager – British Empire Medal (BEM)

Varsha Mistry, Forensic Practitioner Manager – British Empire Medal (BEM)

Tim Gray, former Detective Superintendent – Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)

Police Constable James McAllister – Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)

Police Constable Michael Wallace – Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)

Co-Founder of Kickoff@3

Vicky Washington, former Detective Superintendent – Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)

Marc O’Shea, Detective Sergeant – Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO)

Acting Commissioner Sir Stephen House, said: “I am delighted that so many Metropolitan police officers and police staff have been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen in the Birthday Honours. They should be very proud of their dedicated service, wonderful achievements, and the positive impact they have had in so many different ways in keeping London and its communities safe.”

PC Paula Cooper has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for enthusiastically supporting and developing over 3,700 volunteer police cadets (VPC) across London since 2015. She has ensured that the VPC benefits from as wide a range of experiences and opportunities as possible, and her drive and determination has led to 43% of the VPC being from under-represented communities and 49% being female, creating a truly diverse organisation. Her personal investment of hours, work and commitment has enabled the VPC to flourish.

She said: “I am really honoured to be receiving this award. I actually didn’t believe it initially and I’m really lucky to do a job that I’m really passionate about and really makes a difference to young people. The cadets is such a great programme allowing young people to get an insight and understanding of policing and gain valuable life experience”.

Varsha Mistry immersed herself in her role within forensics when she joined the Met in 1983, and has spent her service driving diversity, inclusion and engagement within her community and the MPS through her influential role with the Metropolitan Police Hindu Association (MPHA). She was the first Indian woman to achieve MPS Fingerprint Expert status and has examined crime scenes for serious crime, murder and counter-terrorism.

Varsha has been instrumental in leading inclusion and diversity in police recruitment, developed crime prevention initiatives, improved community engagement and launched fundraising projects, as well as organising over 200 local, national and international events. The community, officers and staff benefit from her enhancing a sense of belonging, drawing on gems of Hindu wisdom in striving for gender parity, building confidence and encouraging progression, while inspiring others through presentations and networking. She instils pride and is a visible positive role model. The MPHA and the MPS have grown together, striving to seek out a more inclusive and cohesive relationship with hard to reach communities, none of which would be possible without Varsha’s hard work and dedication.

She said: “I’m incredibly humbled by the proposers of this most kind nomination. This recognition comes as a truly overwhelming and unexpected surprise. It’s been fulfilling to draw on the universal values of Sanatan (Hindu) Dharma to serve the Met Police and our communities, whilst bringing them closer together.”

Tim Gray, former Met detective superintendent and head of the Covert Governance unit, was responsible for providing advice to those seeking to apply for the authorisation of covert activity under the Investigatory Powers Act. He was uniquely influential in the professionlisation of this bespoke and sensitive area, and greatly improved standards, processes, training and understanding among operational teams across the MPS. He built and trained a cadre of Operational Security Advisors with a wealth of knowledge between them, who provide operational advice, risk management and review; setting the standard at both an MPS and national level. During the most recent inspection of covert authorities by the Investigatory Powers Commissioners Office, the MPS did not receive any recommendations for improvement – a first and an incredible achievement, particularly given the volume and scale of this activity in the Met. Tim was also instrumental in creating the foundation training process for undercover officers nationally and designing the content, which was adopted by the College of Policing. The material he created also now forms the base structure for all national undercover foundation training used by UK law enforcement agencies.

He said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be the recipient of the Queen’s Police Medal. I feel extremely fortunate to have enjoyed such an interesting and rewarding police career, working with some amazing people and leading a number of great teams.”

PC James McAllister has been recognised for the outstanding contribution to public order policing he has made in London since 2006. He has led senior officers command training (Inspector to Deputy Assistant Commissioner) and has earned a reputation of being one of the most effective public order practitioners in the country. He was instrumental in developing the concept of Police Liaison Teams (PLT’s) in managing protest and devised this role profile, which has been adopted nationally by the College of Policing. PC McAllister has been consistently operationally deployed to significant roles in the most challenging policing operations, from numerous state occasions including the 2011 Royal wedding and 2012 Olympics to multiple right-wing protests.

He said: “I am humbled and extremely honoured to receive this recognition. This is not just my honour; it is a reflection on the great work of all the fantastic people I get to work with. This places the spotlight on the crucial work that a huge amount of people do in the background supporting the MPS Public Order Public Cadre, who regularly deliver plans to keep London safe, maintain the peace and protect people’s rights, often in difficult and sensitive circumstances. To be awarded for something that I love doing is awesome.”

PC Michael Wallace, who works in youth/community engagement in south London, has been recognised for his outstanding community work. In 2017 Michael co-founded the award winning national KickOff@3 football engagement initiative to change negative narratives around young people and provide them with sporting and wider opportunities that enables them to come together with police in a safe space through sport, music and poetry. He is the Youth Lead for the MPS Black Police Association acting as a role model and inspiration to all police officers and staff offering support and mentoring. Michael is also a positive voice for colleagues promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity in the police service, not only in London, but through KickOff@3 nationally.

He said: “I am truly humbled to be recognised by Her Majesty in her Honours Awards, whilst being included with other inspiring names. It gives me immense pride as a serving Metropolitan Police Officer, but also as a community volunteer where I dedicate invaluable time to support young people and charities across the country.”

Vicky Washington, former detective superintendent and 2021 winner of the British Association of Women Police Lifetime Achievement award, has been an impassioned advocate highlighting violence against women and girls for three decades. After joining in 1991 she joined the Territorial Support Group (TSG) where she trained in surveillance, she completed an MSc in Policing Studies in 1998. She completed this work while pregnant with her first child and she went on to have four children between1998-2003. It was this academic and personal experience that would go on to define her legacy in safeguarding. As lead for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in 2011, she pioneered work with multiple airline partners to stop girls being taken out of the UK. Operation Limelight received high profile national attention, was commended by the Home Office and FCO and this legacy is now embedded within the MOPAC annual plan.

Her leadership at the 2012 Olympics as International Liaison Communications Manager increased stakeholder engagement up to 100%, and as Domestic Abuse (DA) lead, she implemented improvements across multiple categories, from victim care to reporting levels, and training. As continuous improvement lead for Child Abuse Investigations, she identified the potential for radicalisation in supplementary schools, improving awareness of legislation and child protection across a raft of public institutions. In 2018 she was selected as Deputy National Co-ordinator for Prevent where she brought together a career’s worth of experience to ensure holistic support for those vulnerable and their families. In addition, her substantial mentoring work, especially for those from under-represented groups, has establishing lasting partnerships and positively influenced tens of thousands of girls and young women.

She said: “I’m delighted and honoured to receive the QPM especially during her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee year. I feel humbled to be recognised in this way and continue to think of all my colleagues who do such a challenging job day in and out.”

DS Marc O’Shea has spent fifteen years positively and progressively shaping the relationship between the Metropolitan Police Service and the Royal Household (RH), in delivering Residential Protection at Windsor Castle for Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family. He has been the driving force and instrumental in progressing and leading the Windsor Operations and Events team, overseen the introduction of more robust and rigorous security measures for all events and the use of the MPS Specials Constabulary at events. Marc has put tremendous personal effort in to developing excellent relationships with the all key partner departments as well as numerous other pivotal stakeholders – he is quite simply a subject matter expert on all matters of Residential Protection where Windsor Castle is concerned. He has been instrumental in delivering some of the most significant high profile public events there, including multiple Royal family weddings, American presidential visits and the funeral of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. The past two years have globally presented an unprecedented challenge to all due to the coronavirus pandemic and Marc formulated alternative operational protocols for continued service delivery in the face of resource shortages. Although he could easily have progressed up the promotion ladder, he took a conscious decision to stay in a role he loves and continuously exceeds the expectation of his role, exuding a “can do attitude”. He is an absolute credit to RaSP, the MPS and indeed Windsor Castle in its entirety.

He said: “Working with the Royal Household has been a real privilege and I am delighted and proud to be recognised in Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday honours list. I have had some amazing experiences while posted to RaSP and have created memories that will last a lifetime.”

Nottinghamshire Police

Nottinghamshire Police: Force football competition helping youngsters shoot for the stars 


Nottinghamshire Police is using the power of football to enhance the lives of young people across the county.

The force has organised a grassroots tournament designed to open doors for youngsters and show the different opportunities available to them.

Around 200 people aged between 13 and 17 are expected to take part in the seven-a-side football festival at the Forest Recreation Ground, Forest Fields, on Saturday (21 May 2022).

Current world featherweight boxing champion Leigh Wood is set to hand out medals to the winning teams, who will then advance to the national finals in London on 10 July, where they will get the opportunity to play in front of professional scouts.

In addition to helping fulfil sporting dreams, the ‘KICKOFF@3’ event offers a great opportunity for teenagers to learn more about different further education and employment opportunities.

The event also provides a means for the police to positively engage with young people in a sporting context where they may feel more comfortable and allow them to see that police officers are normal people behind the uniform.

Sergeant Jemma Connor-Iommi, who has organised the event, joined Nottinghamshire Police four years ago following a career in football that saw her captain Nottingham Forest Women and become a Republic of Ireland international.

She said: “The reason I’m so passionate about this event is because I know the true value of sport and the opportunities it can provide to young people.

“I went to a football tournament like this one when I was 15 and it led to me gaining a scholarship to play football in the USA while continuing my education and then having a professional football career afterwards.

“Sporting events like this are such a good way of engaging with youngsters and making them aware of various opportunities, including those people who may not typically interact with the police.

“These events can make a big impact, whether that be giving young people the platform to succeed in sport, or providing the information and inspiration needed for them to go on and join a college course they might not have been aware of before.”

KICKOFF@3 is a national initiative that provides police forces with the blueprint of how to run community events that can make a difference to their areas.

In addition to the football, teenagers who attend will be able to find out more about how to write effective CVs, available employment opportunities, and how to apply for jobs and college courses that appeal to them.

They will get also get the chance to discover sport, dance and music clubs run by different community groups in the area.

Sgt Connor-Iommi added: “The biggest message I want to get across to these young people is, no matter what your path looks like, you have a stage and somewhere to succeed.

“Football can turn anybody’s life around, as it did for me, which is why I want other people in Nottinghamshire to be provided with that same opportunity.”

The event will take place between 2pm to 7pm, at the Nottingham Forest Sports Zone, Forest Recreation Ground, with anyone wanting to access the engagement opportunities able to do so by attending on the day.

Teams will be competing across two age categories on the day, with kids aged 13 to 14 and 15 to 17 coming up against each other.

Nottinghamshire Police will be joined at the event by partners from Nottingham College, Nottingham Forest, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, the RAF, Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes and Nottinghamshire Live.

The event has also been partially funded by Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), which is a partnership that brings together specialists from local government, health education, policing and criminal justice to help reduce violence by tackling its underlying causes.

Natalie Baker-Smith, Head of the VRU, said: “This is a fantastic event that will provide an opportunity for young people from the City to engage with the police through sport, enabling them to have positive interactions and build trusting connections and relationships in a familiar environment.

“Furthermore, sport has been shown to have an impact on outcomes for children and young people who are at risk of, or may have already been impacted by serious violence and exploitation.

“It provides an opportunity for diversion away from negative pathways and builds positive mental and physical wellbeing as well as trusted adults and a positive peer group.

“Kickoff@3 has positively impacted hundreds of young people across various communities in the UK through its many initiatives, campaigns and workshops and I know that this event will build on that success in Nottingham.”

Nottinghamshire Police would like to thank all of the sponsors involved in Saturday’s KICKOFF@3 event:

  • Nottingham City Homes
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s Violence Reduction Unit
  • Nottingham College
  • Royal Air Force
  • Nottingham Forest
  • Nottinghamshire Live
  • Nottingham Industrial Cleaners
  • World Game Changers
  • The Skinny Food Company
  • UFC Gym Nottingham
WhatsApp Image 2022-05-21 at 9.47.19 AM

Nottinghamshire Champions/ National Finale

A massive congratulations to AJ Sports who were crowned our Kickoff@3 2022 Nottinghamshire Champions last weekend. They won both the Under 14’s and Under 17’s age groups. 

They are worthy and very talented grassroots champions. The Pythian Club were awarded Fair Play Team Award Winners. Another very talented team.

Well done to Jemma for organising a very impressive tournament, with over 200 young people in attendance. 


Stephen Lawerence Day 2022 Community Football Rematch 

On behalf of Ashley and I and all the partners/ supporters involved in our Stephen Lawerence Community Football Rematch hosted on Saturday at Barking Fc, we wanted to sincerely thank you all. 
We are very grateful that Rob Obrien who is the club Chairman of Barking Fc, kindly allowed us to use his wonderful facilities to host the rematch. The club showed us great hospitality in good support of the occasion and the Stephen Lawerence Foundation.

On Saturday there was a warm and vibrant community atmosphere as Yarnee Fc and SL Kings Fc, played with an amazing spirit on a very hot day, where it was humbling to see so many young people from various post codes and diverse backgrounds coming together in unity in loving memory of Stephen Lawerence. Thank you Jack for refereeing the match supported by your two linesmen and women. 
Well done to Yarnee Fc for narrowly winning 1-0, after a very even and hard fought two matches played. They are the Stephen Lawerence Day 2022 Football Champions. However all the young people who took part for Stephen, were  Champions  of the community! Great fighting spirit by SL Kings who represented their club and families  with pride. 

As the Co Founders of Kickoff@3, Ashley and I are extremely  proud we were able to work closely with you all to deliver a wonderful two events.

To end we have to give our final thank you and special mention to Tony and Sophie, for attending on the day to produce amazing drone film footage and photography. Tony’s drone photos are attached, which are phenomenal! 

Over the coming days when Tony and Sophie are both  free, they will be  working hard together to edit the drone footage and official photos. I believe there are 1600 photos to edit.  Once completed everything will be shared between us all, so you can freely use on social media and your various websites. 

For now thank you team and we look forward to working again with you all again soon.
 We were honoured to support the Stephen Lawerence Foundation again from last year, with our on line music event and awards ceremony hosted. The movement will not stop to create change by all  working together.#BecauseOfStephen #LiveYourBestLife 🧡

WhatsApp Image 2022-04-02 at 8.05.27 AM

Stephen Lawrence Day 22

On behalf of Kickoff@3 and all the fantastic partners involved, it was a humble pleasure to deliver our cohesive football match on Saturday in loving memory of Stephen. 

Very fitting for the occasion that it ended up as a 1-1 draw, in a closely competed game played in a fantastic spirit bringing South and East London together in unity with SL Kings Fc and Yarnee. There will be a rematch in due course, to crown the ultimate Stephen Lawrence Day Winners. 

However for now we are all savouring the warmth and love from everyone who attended and contributed to a very successful event.

Humbled that Clive Driscoll and your Honourable Stuart Lawrence attended as guests on the day, which humbled the audience who appreciated the great support for the occasion. 

As you may be aware not only was it a wonderful day hosted in the heat beat of Lambeth Borough, there was positive media coverage surrounding the event on BBC Radio London, Colourful Radio, ITN News and the Havering Daily . Also there was a Podcast from Tony Rice.

Not only did we host the Football but we had Sammy 777 and Boy Sayso, who are two young men who composed songs especially for Stephen Lawrence Day, which has attracted amazing interest. 

Paul Mckenzie from Youth Unity capped the day with awesome film footage, which featured the wonderful flyer produced by Lee Wood from Ember Designs that we have used to heavily to promote the event on social media. 

I have attached some photos taken from Sundays event, but I am sure others will have too.

You will find listed below the song links composed by Sammy 777:

and Boy Sayso:

Podcast by Tony Rice featuring Claude SL Kings and Boy Sayso:


Havering News Article for Stephen Lawrence Day:

All in all a wonderful event where we are all humbled, as we strive for Stephen’s legacy to remain.



Horse Racing: Harness Your Career

With A Career In Horse Racing

Start a career in horse racing with program for young people from ages 16 to 22, check out their website for more information. Horse racing is all inclusive with pathways towards many opportunities, you would be surprised at how many different careers are in this wonderful world.

The British Racing School are keen to speak to young people, not sure what to say, then drop us a line and we will work with you to make the right introductions.

Remember, the opportunities are there you just need to follow them …


Last week we where kindly invited to come along to the British School of Racing