Over the years we have had a range of involve our young people in sport, particularly football. This begin in the early days with 5-a-side competitions, where the teams had to organise themselves, collect their own entrance fees and manage their group throughout the whole process and competition. We averaged around 90 young people taking part in each of these events, all local young people, most of whom would not normally be able to play in a league. We were also able to involve some of their parents in the organising and refereeing of the tournaments turning it into a family event.
We have also partnered with Aston Villa FC Foundation to run their Kicks programme, and supported the Nechells Lions FC to play in the Sandwell and then the Walsall league – we even had Villa legends Tony Morley and Darius Vassell helping out with the boys too! The challenge with running a regular team is having volunteers and parents who are willing to give up their Sunday mornings to provide these opportunities to train and support the kids.