Teenage kicks in Stowmarket

A NEW sports project in Stowmarket has been keeping youngsters off the street by showing them how to use their feet this summer.

Stuart Watson

A NEW sports project in Stowmarket has been keeping youngsters off the street by showing them how to use their feet this summer.

In an attempt to keep anti-social behaviour levels among young people down in Stowmarket over the school holidays the Suffolk Police provided funding to bring football and street dance coaches to the town.

Since May 15, youngsters between the ages of 10 and 19 have been able to play football for free every Thursday night on Stowmarket's Recreation Ground.

In addition, those aged between 13 and 19 have also been able to try street dance on the same day at Stowmarket Middle School.

All coaching has been provided by coaches from the government's social inclusion unit Positive Futures which is managed on behalf of the Home Office by Rainer Crime Concern.

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The projects, also backed the Suffolk Youth Offending Service and Time 2 Change, have regularly seen over 80 youngsters attending the combined sessions each week.

Mid-Suffolk Neighbourhood Inspector Sally Gallant said: “We identified that there was a lack of activities for teenagers and places for them to go.

“It meant they had been hanging around the streets, which led to concerns about anti-social behaviour in some areas, and made the young people more vulnerable in terms of becoming involved in crime or indeed victims of crime.”

Positive Futures Project Manager Paul Knights said: “This project was very successful in Ipswich's areas of Whitton and Gainsborough and so we were delighted to bring it to Stowmarket when approached.

“The project has received some great support from Stowmarket Middle School, especially the caretaker there, as well as Claire Frank of Childer Road Youth Club.”

For more information on the project, which still runs for a number of weeks, please contact Paul Knight on: 07717 290545.

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