Around 30 teenagers in Thanet stepped up to the challenge to play against Kent Police and partner organisations in a football tournament.
The round-robin event pitched teams of young people against a team of officers and PCSOs, and a team of Thanet Multi-Agency Task Force which included representatives from Thanet District Council.
The event at Hugin Vikings Football Club in Broadstairs was the idea of PC Hisham Hijazi from the task force, who had wanted to organise an activity in the area for young people aged 13 to 17 to get involved with.
Families and friends of the youngsters were also able come along and meet the police dogs and local policing teams, as well as cheer on all those taking part in the tournament.
Budding football stars were also given an opportunity to speak to coaches and representatives from organisations including the Football Association and Sports Connect.
PC Hijazi said: “It was a great day and lovely to see so many young people and their families.
“I want to offer my thanks to everyone who attended and also those who helped to make this day happen. It is humbling when you even have offers of sports kit from schools to ensure that everyone who wants to play, can do so.
“We are now discussing the possibility of organising future events featuring different sporting opportunities for teenagers and I look forward to speaking to various organisations in Thanet to see how we can work together to arrange other activities for young people to try out.”
Inspector Ian Swallow from Thanet Community Safety Unit added: “Our officers work closely with agencies to safeguard young people and we believe it is important to engage with the community and provide young people with positive supportive experiences.
“I hope this event built bridges between young people and police officers and reinforces the invaluable relationship between us and the communities we serve.”
For details on how to participate in future events please email email@example.com.
The police need to find ways of communicating and helping our youth as they ways things have progressed in recent and not so recent years there is a huge divide between the two. This is a fantastic start and I hope it will continue and become a regular activity. There are so many sports to choose from so it doesn’t have to be just football, but a huge congratulations to all those involved in this. We just need more of it, more often now. There must be other organisations who can help out as it is such a rewarding project to be involved with.