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Harley's story

PL Kicks

Meet Harley

Harley has been attending weekly sessions every Thursday at Arboretum Park since the age of 8. Delivered as part of the Premier League Kicks project, his enthusiasm and commitment for football and the session is unrivalled.

He lives and breathes football. Come rain or shine, Harley will be out playing the sport he loves most, trying to emulate his favourite player - Harry Kane.

‘I love playing Left-wing and have a lot of speed. Sometimes I play up front and score lots of a goals, but I’ve lost count… it’s just really fun’.

Arriving as a shy but well-mannered young man, Harley has developed his skills - becoming more confident on and off the pitch. His mum has seen this difference too; ‘He’s come a long way since he joined these sessions. He knows where he’s got to go and what time… so he’s better at managing his own time with things like school and homework too.’

Harley is a very popular participant at the sessions and has made a huge impression on all the coaches, volunteers, and participants alike. His respect for the staff and others is always there… ‘The coaches are supportive and really kind to me. I know a lot of people here and made so many friends.’

These sessions provide a lot for the local community, and Harley also benefits from having sessions local to him. They provide him a space that he wouldn’t normally get if it wasn’t for PL Kicks… likely just kick on the ball against the wall back at home. Harley said himself ‘I feel better playing here because it’s more open and I get to play with friends every week’. His mum agreed and thought having local programmes really do make that difference… ‘It’s good that it’s in the community… we don’t have to travel far as it’s literally round the corner and more accessible for us both’.

Our Inclusion Development Manager Gavin Lewis has watched Harley develop in the sessions over the past couple of years; ‘Harley has demonstrated all the values of the Community Trust and has become an important and invaluable role model in our team and will continue to do so moving forward’.

Harley has shown all the qualities you would expect of a participant and is always reliable, trustworthy and punctual.

As a result, the Trust announced our Community Heroes. One of those nominated was Harley. We wanted to recognise his commitment and approach to every session. He had the opportunity to be pitch-side on match-day and have a photo with club mascot Rammie. The whole family were able to attend and create a memory that will last forever. 

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