Young footballers win medals in community sports initiative backed by Kent Police
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A team of footballers from Kent were runners-up in the final of a national tournament, where two players received individual medals whilst representing a community sports initiative that aims to improve the lives of young people.
KickOff@3 is an organisation supported by Kent Police that helps divert youngsters away from crime and violence whilst also helping to raise awareness and funds for a range of charities that promote physical and mental wellbeing.
Detective Inspector Vinny Wagjiani from the force has an active role in this organisation and the team’s journey. He is joined by other supporters from the Kent & Medway Violence Reduction Unit, Sports Connect, Street Games, Safer Kent, Black Asian Minority Referees (BAMREF), Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), Kent FA, and MMS 360.
The under-16s had already won their regional tournament, stormed through the group stages of the national finals, won the semi-final and only narrowly missed out on victory in the final which was held on Sunday 23 July 2023 at the Metropolitan Police Sports Ground in Bromley.
Two players, Millie and Jacob, each received an individual award for their performance in the games. Millie was awarded with Female Player of the Tournament and Jacob scooped the title of Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
DI Vinny Wagjiani said:
‘This isn’t just about football, this is about life lessons and personal growth. I am just one of many people supporting this community sports initiative that helps to bridge the gap between the police service and young people, particularly those from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds.
‘The success of KickOff@3 is a testament to what can be achieved by youngsters with the right support from businesses, charities and police forces like ours.
‘The football team, made up of male and female players, helps to strengthen their awareness, drive, leadership and most of all teaches the children to be part of a team. I am personally proud to support this type of initiative and play a part in helping young people shape their future.’