Lithuanian-born Andrejus moved to the UK aged two with his parents and brother. He lived next to a West Ham United Kicks project for years and was a shy 11 year old by the time curiosity got the better of him.
"One evening I decided to go and see what the football was that I could hear going on near my house. I met George the coach, who told me how Kicks could help me develop as a footballer and as a person. He was right. It's a good vibe with the other players and the coaches at Kicks."
Speaking some five years after Andrejus discovered WHU Foundation's PL Kicks sessions, George says he has grown to be a fantastic role model through the programme, which is part of a successful partnership with Sport England. As a member of our Youth Consultation Group, Andrews also helps provide the voice for young people to shape Kicks for the future. He was proud to captain West Ham United Kicks to victory at the Premier League's 10th Anniversary Kicks Cup.
I would tell anyone who has the chance that they should join Premier League Kicks, as you learn a lot of new things that you can take with you for the rest of your life.
Andrejus, West Ham United Kicks captain 2016
West Ham United Foundation currently delivers two Kicks projects in the London Boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets.The scheme is designed to:
- Engage young people (aged 11-19) in a range of constructive activities
- Create routes into education, training and employment
- Encourage volunteering within projects and throughout the target neighbourhoods
- Break down barriers between the police and young people
- Reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the targeted neighbourhoods
- Increase the playing, coaching and officiating opportunities for participants
West Ham United Foundation Kicks projects work closely with the Local Authorities, Safer Neighborhood Team, Children Youth Services and Youth Offending Team to establish a daily routine of sporting and educative activities which are designed to gain volunteering and employment opportunities. Exit strategies from the Kicks project include partnerships with Prince's Trust and Community Links.
To find out more about WHU Foundation's PL Kicks sessions, please contact:
George Chukwuma; Community Sports Officer