A Thanet police officer is pitching in to give young people in the district a chance to play football.
Thanks to the determination of PC Hisham Hijazi, next month isle teenagers will be able to take part in a football tournament at Hugin Vikings Football Club against teams from Kent Police and the Thanet Multi-agency Task Force (Thanet MTF).
PC Hijazi was inspired to create the event after he was called to the club grounds following concerns of suspected anti-social behaviour.
Following enquiries, it was established that a group of teenagers had accessed the area for a kick around. They were identified and with no permanent damage caused, they were given words of advice. However the incident prompted the Partnership officer to look at what facilities were available for teenagers in the area.
He said: ‘It made me think about what could be done to have a positive impact on young people in the area and clearly football is something they are interested in, so I wanted to organise something that would show them they are supported and to encourage them to build good relationships with police and other agencies.
‘As officers we want to engage with our communities and offer help and support if someone is at risk of getting involved in criminality or is vulnerable.’
Following discussions with the football club, it was agreed that a friendly match for teenagers be arranged to give them a chance to play on a proper pitch.
On Saturday, October 9, between 12pm and 4pm, young people aged 13 to 17 are invited to take part in the Thanet Community Football Match in Dumpton Park Drive, Broadstairs.
There will also be a range of activities, coaching sessions and event stands to keep everyone entertained at the community event.
PC Hijazi said: “It will be a nine-a-side round robin tournament. There will be three teams, one will be made up of police officers and staff and another will be partner agencies and members of the Thanet MTF, so young people will be able to join in the fun and have a game of football.
“My thanks also goes to the football club who have worked with us and without them this wouldn’t be possible. I hope everyone will have a great day and enjoy the game.”
To register your interest in taking part, email firstname.lastname@example.org.