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Queen’s Park football project aims to tackle youth problems

PUBLISHED: 06:45 13 May 2016 | UPDATED: 16:55 13 May 2016

Queens Park Gardens Football Academy

Queens Park Gardens Football Academy

Archant

A free football project has taken off in Queen’s Park which aims to tackle the root causes of youth problems in and around the area.

Queen’s Park Garden’s Football Academy, which takes place in Ilbert Street every weekend, has seen its popularity grow since it started last month.

The project was started by Ryan Dalton, of the Queens Park Community Council (QPCC), Philip Andokou, also of QPCC, and Tristan Samie, whose idea it was.

Mr Dalton, the event co-ordinator, said: “We’re running it at the weekends at the moment, have had eight sessions and it’s going really well. It started off quite small and it’s just grown and grown. We’ve had to split it up and have two age groups now eight to 11, 12 to 17 and are looking at doing it for over 18s.

“We’ve joined up with the QPR youth community to make it bigger and better but we are also crowd funding in order to achieve that.”

Mr Samie applied to the QPCC for funding to start the project.

Mr Dalton added: “What he was asking for was very good value for money, he set up all the teams, got the kits. There are now big ideas to employ more coaches, get them trained up and qualified.”

He said since the creation of the academy it has been a diversion for young people, encouraging them away from hanging out on street corners and the danger of getting involved in gang activities and knife crime.

Mr Dalton said: “There is a low percentage of green space and gardens attached to peoples’ homes so this type of activity increases participation in physical activity and builds social skills through team work.

“We’d like to keep on running this project for youth teams and older players. We strongly believe this local team can go a long way in tackling the root causes of antisocial behaviour in the area. We are also very happy to discuss the possibility of new office sponsorship for the team if a local business is interested.”

Players currently regroup on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-1pm.

To donate visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/QueensParkFA.

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