Former Blues star Ferreira turns out for Premier League Kicks programme

More than 50 youngsters were taught some tricks of the trade from former Chelsea hero Paulo Ferreira to celebrate the extension of the club’s community coaching scheme.

Two extra sessions per week have been added to the Chelsea Foundation Premier League Kicks programme, which offers more than 30 hours of free football to children across five London boroughs.

With funding from sponsors Gazprom, they will take place at the Pimlico Academy on Friday and Saturday evenings.

And ex-Blues full-back Ferreira, who won three Premier League titles during his time at Stamford Bridge, helped launch the new initiative by taking a training session of his own.

He said: “I hope the attendance continues to grow as they were a really good group.

Ferreira was a popular figure during his time at Chelsea
Ferreira was a popular figure during his time at Chelsea

“Football did so much for me and it teaches skills like teamwork and discipline so I am always pleased to see people given more chances to play.

“It is fantastic for these young people to have something to do in the evenings with these sessions of the Premier League Kicks programme, organised and run by the Chelsea Foundation.

“It is so important for football to give back to the community so I am delighted that Chelsea’s partner Gazprom are positively impacting young people by providing more opportunities for them to engage with sport and social activity.”

Launched in September 2013, the Chelsea Foundation’s Premier League Kicks project continues to thrive, promoting universal sports engagement within disadvantaged areas and with at-risk individuals.

Working in association with the Premier League and Sport England, Foundation coaches currently offer the free programme in Wandsworth, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham.

Away from the pitch, more than 200 youngsters have been helped into further education, while the club’s coaches also assist others with their Duke of Edinburgh awards, and six former Kicks participants are now working within the Chelsea Foundation as coaches.

Dmitry Amelin, of Gazprom, added: “We are very pleased to be supporting the Chelsea Foundation Premier League Kicks Programme.

“We believe it is vital for all local communities to be engaged in sports and to have the opportunity to experience playing football with professional coaches.

“This approach of Kicks is aimed at helping to develop both sporting and personal skills of youngsters.

“We are delighted to sponsor the extra sessions held on Fridays and Saturdays within the Kicks Programme in Pimlico.

“We encourage everyone interested in football to join one of the sessions and hope that everyone gets something positive out of their participation.”

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