Improving lives of young people through sport

The KITS football tournament
The KITS football tournament

Active Luton has been running football and cricket tournaments as part of a project that uses sport to engage, empower and improve the lives of disadvantaged young men.

The project, called KITS (Community Integration Through Sport), aims to improve integration in the Marsh Farm, Lewsey and Farley Hill areas.

The football tournament, held at Kenilworth Road, brought together more than 90 young men aged 14 to 19 from the three communities to build on weekly sessions that are already taking place.

The indoor cricket tournament, held at Inspire: Luton Sport Village, involved 40 young people.

Before the start of both tournaments, workshops were held to warn the young men of the consequences of getting involved in crime and to encourage them to grasp the opportunities available to them through education.

The workshops were delivered by an ex-offender who now runs an organisation called Directions.

The football tournament was attended by local MPs Kelvin Hopkins and Gavin Shuker, Beds Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins and former Luton Mayor Mohammed Farooq.

Active Luton chief executive Helen Barnett said: “It’s fantastic to see the lives of these young men being improved after being brought together for football, cricket, basketball, golf, gym sessions, swimming and other sports.

“The workshops were a real eye opener and there were some really nice moments of sportsmanship during the tournaments.”