Everton striker Arouna Kone visited an Everton in the Community Kicks session recently to find out more about the Premier League funded project and how it helps put local kids on the right pathways.
The Ivory Coast international went along to the Firefit in Toxteth to meet the young people who attend the weekly sessions and also got involved with a coaching session whilst showcasing his skills and a few tricks.
Speaking after the session, Kone said: “I’ve enjoyed coming along to find out more about Kicks and the impact the programme has on the local area.
“It’s been great to meet all the young people here and see them getting involved and getting active and most importantly, keeping off the streets at night.”
EitC’s Kicks programme is an award-programme delivered by the Youth Engagement arm of the Club’s official charity and it uses the power of sport and the arts to empower young people at risk of involvement in crime and anti-social behaviour.
Funded by the Premier League, Merseyside Council and Merseyside Police, Kicks works towards creating stronger and more respectful communities through football and encourages children to develop their potential whilst steering them into paths of education and employment.
Everton in the Community has been delivering Kicks sessions across Merseyside for eight years with over 3000 young people accessing the programme, leading to further local authority commissioning to deliver key projects around healthy lifestyles, substance misuse, gun and knife crime awareness and gang culture.
In figures provided by Merseyside Police, the Kicks programme has contributed to a 65% reduction in anti-social behaviour and a 79% reduction in crime in some of the most challenging communities.
To watch a video of Arouna's visit, click here.
For more information on the Kicks programme visit www.evertonfc.com/community