Hammer help for Kick It Out

Kick It Out - football's equality and inclusion campaign - is calling on young West Ham United supporters to create a design for the campaign's new mascot, Kio.

Hammers fans aged 14 and under are being invited to enter the competition to help to 'Find a Friend' for West Ham's official club mascots Herbie the Hammer and Bubbles the Bear.

The overall winning design across all 92 Premier League and Football League clubs will become Kick It Out's official mascot and will be made up into a full-sized costume by a leading design agency. Kio will then attend football matches, visit schools and community events and could even compete in the next Mascot Grand National.

To enter, all youngsters need to do is to come up with an idea for the design of Kio the mascot. Entrants are also required to explain some of the characteristics they have given to their newly-created character.

Designs can be submitted in any shape, size or format. For example, they can be drawn or painted on paper, produced using IT or even produced as a prototype model! The descriptions of the new characters should be no more than 200 words long and cover all the special characteristics given to Kio. For example, entrants should explain the important personality traits a Kick It Out mascot should have.

The closing date for entries is Tuesday 3 March. Entries can be sent directly to West Ham United at Laura Tucker, West Ham United Football Club, Boleyn Ground, Green Sreet, London, E13 9AZ or to KIO Mascot Competition, Kick It Out, PO Box 29544, London, EC2A 4WR. Entrants must include their name, age and address.

Prizes will include tickets to a West Ham United match, Hammers-related gifts and the chance to attend an England game. The winning design will be made into a full-sized mascot.

For further information about the competition, email [email protected] or call 020 76844884.