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Dereham youths get their Kickz at the Rec

PUBLISHED: 12:21 18 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:24 07 July 2010

A project aimed at getting children into football rather than trouble has been kicked off in Dereham.

Kickz, run by Norwich City Football Club in the Community, is for youngsters aged 13 to 19 referred to the project by agencies including the police.

A project aimed at getting children into football rather than trouble has been kicked off in Dereham.

Kickz, run by Norwich City Football Club in the Community, is for youngsters aged 13 to 19 referred to the project by agencies including the police.

It is aimed at steering them away from anti-social behaviour and crime.

Norwich City player Damon Lathrope, 20, joined the group for the official launch on Friday night.

He has been with City for four years after joining the youth team aged 15 and lives in Mattishall.

He said: “When I was young this would have been brilliant, I would have been here every night to play football rather than playing the streets.”

Gavin Coe, partnership development manager, said: “There are young people who need to be given a direction and often they need to build up individual skills or social skills and that is what we try to do in the project.”

The scheme, running three nights per week for 18 months, was partially funded by a £15,000 grant from Breckland Local Strategic Partnership

Dereham Town Council is giving £17,280 over the three years through providing the facilities at below market rent.

A £600,000 grant from the Youth Sector Development Fund helped fund the Kickz scheme, which has projects already running in Bowthorpe, King's Lynn and now Dereham.

It is planned to launch the scheme in North Walsham and Great Yarmouth as well.

It follows a trial of the project in Cobham, near Yarmouth. There the project is believed to have led to a decrease in anti-social behaviour in the community.

For more information about the project visit www.fitc.org.uk or call 01603 761122.

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