- Two Leicester City players surprised Project 15 participants at LCFC Training Ground on Tuesday
- The new scheme from Leicester City in the Community is in partnership with two LCitC partners
- Families were able to meet Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Çağlar Söyüncü at the programme’s launch
- Dewsbury-Hall told LCFC TV why he was pleased to be able to contribute to a successful day
Held at LCFC Training Ground, the event provided an opportunity to celebrate the beginning of the project, which is ran in partnership with LCitC partners Women4Change In Leicester and Team Hub.
A big surprise for the participants, the two players appeared after training to meet them in the dome inside the King Power Centre, taking part in some footgolf and shooting games, before an opportunity to have photos with both Söyüncü and Dewsbury-Hall, who also delighted the youngsters by signing autographs.
Speaking at the event in Seagrave, the Academy graduate commented to LCFC TV: “It’s a really good thing that is happening in the community. A day out to this training ground and to the meet a couple of the players… I know when I was a kid that would have been a dream.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall met Foxes supporters during the visit.
“It’s nice to get all the families out together to have fun and enjoy a good day and I’m glad that I could come and contribute to that in a way. There were a lot of shocked faces which is nice to see. I don’t think they were expecting it!
“We sneaked in, and they saw us last minute. It’s lovely to see the young kids excited, because that’s what you want, that’s what I would have been like when I was a kid. It’s just about having fun.”
Able to take part in the football-based activities, joining in during the afternoon, it took the 23-year-old back to a time when he was young and dreamed of becoming a Leicester City player.
It’s lovely to know that I can be someone who they may look up to. It’s a great feeling that will never get old.Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall LCFC TV
The midfielder continued: “I feel like a role model for young kids in the community, especially because I’ve come through the Academy, I’ve experienced what they’ve experienced. It’s lovely to know that I can be someone who they may look up to. It’s a great feeling that will never get old.
“Everyone’s so enthusiastic, which is really nice. Everybody’s here having fun and working hard, so it’s a great day, helping a lot of people. There are different activities to keep it fun and exciting – it’s perfect for the community.”
A day of sport to bring two communities together, and also help families keep fit, the importance of Project 15 is clear to see, according to Jo Randall, Director at Team Hub, based in New Parks.
Leicester City in the Community
The event took place inside the dome in the King Power Centre at LCFC Training Ground.
She said: “It gives those families and children opportunities to meet the players and to have that drive. To be able to come to facilities like this, it just gives them a real uplift.
“Coming from communities that are struggling, and mental health being really low, things like this will just help them out. It’s just inspiring for them, it’s absolutely great.
“We started to engage and work with Leicester City in the Community and it changed the dynamic massively. It reaches out to lots more people, it got people into the building that haven’t used it before, so they could see all the other facilities that we’ve got.
“Part of our team work with the parents and the children is playing football out on the pitch and we also engage them in swimming. It’s about having other people about to support us and to support the community.”
Çağlar Söyüncü & Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall
The pair were able to demonstrate some ball skills to the participants.
Filsan Hassan, a volunteer for Women4Change In Leicester, explained the need for the project in the local area and the benefits of being able to make the trip to the Club’s training ground.
“We strive to educate and support and empower women and the youth, because they are the centre of the community,” she added.
"With so many challenges facing them - mental health, knife crime, unemployment and a lack of support - we try to bridge that gap and provide them with the support they need.
“We get involved with the community, whether it be in education, in employment, or activities like this where they get to support each other, communicate with each other and just spend quality time away from TVs and computers.”
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