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Premier League Charitable Fund Awards: Premier League Kicks

Next up in the Robins Foundation’s celebration of the Premier League Charitable Fund’s ten-year anniversary is the incredible work of those on the Premier League Kicks project.

Premier League Kicks uses the power of football to connect with young people in some of the highest need areas of the UK with Bristol City Robins Foundation delivering the programme in some of the cities most deprived areas.

Participant winner: Anita Sandhu

Anita has been involved with the Robins Foundation’s delivery of various Premier League funded programmes over the years and is now a core member of Premier League Kicks, where she is a true role model to those around her.

Not only does she help welcome and boost the confidence of younger and less self-assure participants, but the youngster also frequently goes out of her way to help the Foundation's staff in the delivery of the Kicks sessions.

Anita's support for the Robins Foundation has not stopped there, as she has also volunteered with the Foundation to help deliver football to under privileged young people across the City through the Foundation's holiday camp roadshow.

Anita poses for a photo with fellow F3 participants at half time of Bristol City WFC's match against Chelsea WFC

The youngster’s outstanding commitment and dedication to the Kicks programme was emphasised last year when Anita sustained an injury which ruled her out from playing for several months. Despite this injury keeping her on the side lines, Anita continued to attend the weekly Kicks sessions where she supported the Foundation’s coaches in their delivery of free footballing provision.

Bristol City Robins Foundation Premier League Kicks Lead Coach, Jon Pinches, said: “Anita has a fantastic attitude to all of the sessions that she attends. It is a privilege to work with such a dedicated young person.

“Congratulations Anita, you thoroughly deserve this award.”

Anita continues to volunteer with the Robins Foundation and has recently been selected as a member of the new Premier League Kicks Youth Council. Working with a group of fellow young people from across the city, Anita is now helping to shape the future delivery of the Robins Foundation by identifying key issues and coming up with solutions to problems facing the local community.

Facilitator winner – Mel and Grace

If you’ve had anything to do with the Robins Foundation over the past decade, then you are bound to recognise Mel and Grace; the ever-present, inspirational duo who have done so much to make their community a better place.

As two young girls living in the south Bristol area, Grace Phillips and Melissa Wilkinson were tired of the lack of opportunity for women and girls to get involved in football. The duo, along with fellow members of the Foundation’s award-winning Youth Council, were instrumental in setting up the Foundation’s multi-generational PL Kicks Free Female Fitness (F3) session.

Grace and Mel have been vital in running the sessions ever since their conception and have worked to make the sessions the success that they are today – more than 50 females ranging from ages of six through to 76 regularly attend.

Even the global Covid-19 pandemic could not deter these two incredible young people from supporting their community. Throughout lockdown, Mel continued to deliver the Foundation’s F3 sessions virtually, providing a much-needed opportunity for its participants to stay connected with one another. And Grace worked with other members of Bristol City Robins Foundation staff to provide essential food supplies to those in need across Bristol (many of whom were participants on the Foundation’s Premier League Kicks programme).

With lockdown restrictions easing in September both Grace and Mel were quick to pick up where they left off and were successful in encouraging many more women and girls to get active and enjoy football with their F3 project.

 

“Mel and Grace are an inspiration to not only the young people that they work with but everyone in the community.” Said Premier League Kicks Lead Coach Jon Pinches.

“Their commitment and tireless work in improving their local community is greatly appreciated by so many and they are worthy winners of this award.”

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