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Onecom and Pompey in the Community Launch New Street Soccer Academy

Onecom and Pompey in the Community Launch New Street Soccer Academy

Onecom News ,

A new football-centred personal development course for disadvantaged young adults has launched in Portsmouth, through a partnership between the Street Soccer Foundation and Pompey in the Community.

The ten-week Street Soccer Academy is for 18 to 30-year olds, who are homeless or deemed to be at risk of homelessness, and provides participants with opportunities to learn new skills and improve their health and wellbeing through a mixture of football coaching, positive mindset training, mentoring support and workshops around skills and employability.

The Street Soccer Foundation partners with more than 20 professional football club community organisations across the country to run Street Soccer Academies and Portsmouth Football Club’s award-winning charity Pompey in the Community is the latest partner to start running the course.

Through a series of weekly sessions with coaches and education staff, the programme aims to help tackle youth homelessness in England by using the power of football to instil greater confidence and self-belief in young people, empowering them to make positive changes in their lives.

Participants often include those currently experiencing homelessness, former young offenders, the long-term unemployed or those who are not in education, employment or training, and the first cohort got the opportunity to watch Portsmouth ’s recent 3-2 win over Barnsley, which sees them promoted back to the Championship as League One Champions.

Taylor Monk, Head of Community Development at Pompey in the Community, said: "We're really excited to join the Street Soccer Academy network and bring the project to Portsmouth.

“Football provides so many underappreciated opportunities to grow, whether it's as a safe space to use as a release, to increase physical participation and exercise or to provide potential employment or education opportunities.

“So being able to utilise football as the vehicle to support individuals' personal development across mental and physical health is a narrative we're incredibly passionate about.”

The first Street Soccer Academy at Pompey in the Community got underway last month and runs until the end of May.

The current course is being sponsored by business telephony and cloud communications provider Onecom, which has its headquarters in nearby Fareham, through a nationwide initiative called The Big Goal, which is partnering ICT companies with Street Soccer Academies in their local area.

Colleagues from Onecom will get the opportunity to meet the participants and offer them work-related advice and expertise as part of their sponsorship of the programme.

Keith Mabbutt, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Street Soccer Foundation, said: “Through our new initiative, The Big Goal, we are thrilled to welcome the community arm of Portsmouth Football Club, Pompey in the Community, as our most recent new partners to deliver our nationally acclaimed Street Soccer Academy programme.

“Together with the fantastic sponsorship and support of Onecom, this marks a true coming together of three organisations committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in the local community surrounding Portsmouth Football Club, and in particular, those who are currently experiencing homelessness.

“I want to thank both Pompey in the Community and Onecom for their valued partnership and I greatly look forward to our collaboration in the support of others, to help turn young lives around for the better, through the Pompey Street Soccer Academy programme and the power of football."

Martin Flick, Chief Executive Officer of Onecom Group, said: “Onecom are thrilled to be the inaugural sponsors of the Street Soccer Foundation's latest academy partner, Pompey in the Community.

“It's more than just a sponsorship for us; it's a commitment to the community and a belief in the power of sport to transform lives.

“By supporting the first cohort of participants, we're not only offering them an entry point into the academy programme but also a chance to grow, learn, and achieve their potential.

“We're looking forward to seeing the positive changes these young individuals will make in their lives through this opportunity.

“It's a privilege to be part of their journey, and we're excited to see how our support will help pave the way for their success, both on and off the pitch."

To enquire about the Pompey In the Community Street Soccer Academy, email health@pompeyitc.org.uk, for more information about the Street Soccer Foundation, visit www.streetsoccerfoundation.org.uk and to find out how to become involved in The Big Goal visit www.thebiggoal.co.uk