In truth football is not my sport of choice, that will always be Cricket. That said, sport brings people together and in 2018 I brought KickOff@3 to Durham with the assistance of Durham University who saw the value in bringing young people together, engage with the police to break down barriers and create opportunities for themselves. This opportunity has been instrumental in doing just this and also provided external opportunities to some Durham University students who helped organise the event.
Ultimately sport brings people from different communities together and football is no different. In our first year one of the young participants provided a mouth swab for the ACLT Charity and he was a potential positive bone marrow match, which could result in him saving someone’s life. In 2019 I brought 3 forces together namely Durham, Northumbria and North Yorkshire in holding a regional tournament. Again the overall winning team attended the National Finals in London and gained so much life experience. One of their teachers said to me that “the youngsters from our school need this kind of exposure and to be alongside other communities”.
For me it’s a privilege to be involved in Kick Off @3. Its providing many young people opportunities in life which ordinarily they may have thought its not available to them. Young people have also had the opportunity to engage with the police and see beyond the uniform.