West Ham United Community Sports Trust proudly represented the club by hosting the Kickz Cup National Finals.

The Hammers played host to 32 teams from 22 different Premier League and Football League clubs over the weekend, with West Ham's Girls winning their event and the hosts' Under-14 Boys finishing a creditable third.

With Trust leaders, trainees, apprentices and volunteers staffing the events on Friday and Saturday, West Ham's contribution was roundly praised by the Premier League and Metropolitan Police, who jointly launched the Kickz social inclusion scheme back in 2006.

Head of Premier League Charitable Fund, Monica Golding explained how Kickz football projects play a huge role in local communities across the country.

"Kickz started with just three clubs on a pilot scheme and now it is had grown with 46 clubs involved," she said. "The Premier League funds the programme along with the Metropolitan Police.

"You can't underestimate the power of the Premier League badge and a club badge like that of West Ham. It engages people, especially the young. We go into parts of the community where some others don't go because of the power football has. If West Ham go into an area and ask a young person to get involved in an activity like Kickz, then there is a greater possibility that young person will get involved and go on to achieve something.

"I think working with and in the local community, is very important for the clubs and I do think part of the reason why West Ham was given the Olympic Stadium was because of the work it already does in the community and what it wants to continue doing."

Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector Steve Banks added: "Football can do a lot more to grab the attention of youngsters than the police can, so working together in a project like Kickz means we can both do good work in the community and give youngsters that chance to do something positive that they might not otherwise get the opportunity to do."

Following Friday's success with the Girls, the Under-14 Boys had a tough act to follow when they took to the Boleyn Ground pitch on Saturday morning. After losing their opening two matches, the Hammers youngsters showed commendable spirit to finish third of the eight teams involved, Newcastle United won the U14 tournament.

West Ham's Kickz co-ordinator George Chukwuma said: "We had started off losing the first two games and that can dent the confidence a bit, but the boys stuck at it and we then drew a game before finishing strongly with four wins.

"We wanted to win the tournament, of course, but we did well and I think the boys can only learn from this incredible experience they have had. Playing on the pitch at the Boleyn Ground, up against some very good teams at a high level, they will come away with all of that experience to help them go further in their sport and what they want to achieve in the future."

For the boys it was an exciting moment to experience playing on the hallowed turf at the Boleyn Ground.

Malachi Napa and Joel Brown clearly enjoyed the tournament, saying it was "exciting to be able to play on the pitch where the professional players compete and we are all aspiring to be as good as that when we are older. We were pleased to end the tournament with the four wins."

As well as youngsters taking part on the pitch, there were an army of staff from the Trust's social inclusion project playing a role in ensuring the finals ran smoothly. From ball boys to mentors and coaches, the claret and blue of the West Ham Community Sports Trust could be seen all around the ground.

Launched in 2006 by the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police, Kickz has the aim of using football to bring communities together and encourage young people. It has since expanded nationwide to include more than 100 projects run by more than 40 Premier League and Football League clubs. More than 45,000 youngsters take part in Kickz projects every year, earning thousands of educational qualifications and life skills.