The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, attended an event hosted by the Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Premier League Kicks programme.

The Premier League Kicks programme is the Premier League’s community initiative. It engages young people in sporting, music, educational and other development sessions, with the aim of increasing sports participation, supporting young people and reducing anti-social behaviour.

The 15th anniversary event was held at the Concord Sports Centre in Sheffield, and brought together teams of young people representing the community foundations of football clubs from across Yorkshire, from Sheffield United and Barnsley to Leeds United and Huddersfield Town.

During the day, teams participated in a football tournament and crossbar challenge on the venue’s 3G all-weather pitches, while the sports hall hosted a dodgeball tournament and talks from community activists. The event concluded with a prize-giving ceremony.

Graham Jones, Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, said: “As the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, we recognise the important role that initiatives such as the Premier League Kicks programme play in bringing communities together and providing support for young people.

“Alongside many community groups and projects, the professional football clubs in South Yorkshire are providing a range of innovative opportunities to engage young people and help them develop.

“These projects directly support our ambition to reduce violence in South Yorkshire.”

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said: “As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am always keen to support initiatives which increase participation in sport and provide the positive role models which young people need.

“The Premier League Kicks programme is one such initiative; it makes a positive difference in the lives of young people, particularly those from high-need areas.

“I was pleased that an event to mark its anniversary was held in Sheffield, and that so many different football clubs from across Yorkshire took part.”