On Saturday 2 October, one hundred and ninety young footballers from all over the county, including ten of our own students, braved the wind and rain to take part in KickOff@3, a 7-a-side football tournament organised by Essex Police Positive Action team.
KickOff@3 is a charity initiative founded in 2017 by Met police officer Michael Wallace and youth worker Ashley Levien. It aims to build relationships between young people and the police and promote physical and mental well-being and inclusion through sport.
The 13 to 14-year-olds crown went to a team of year 9 students from Notley High, who named themselves 'Goal Diggers', and triumphed over Chelmsford’s Coaching Champions on penalties in the final. Other competitors included the south Essex youth charity ATF, a Colchester United Football in the Community side, and two teams of refugees and asylum seekers from Changing Lives in Harlow.
All competitors were given a medal for taking part, with trophies for the winners presented by Deputy Lord Lieutenant Stephen Bennett and High Sheriff of Essex Simon Brice.
Earlier in the day, Michael Wallace, Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington and Louise Voyce from tournament partners Active Essex addressed the players to emphasise the unifying power of sport.
(Photo: Provided by Kickoff@3)