Young footballers from across the UK came together to celebrate and support the work of the KickOff@3 project in London.
Twenty-two teams participated in the Daniel De-Gale Football Tournament, an all-day seven-a-side football competition at The Warren, the Metropolitan Police's Sports Ground in Hayes.
KickOff@3 was founded in 2016 by Met officer PC Michael Wallace and Ashley Levien, who runs his own social inclusion project in Barnet. The two men worked together to found the initiative which aims to help establish long-lasting relationships between young people and their local police.
The tournament – which featured more than 200 players from London, Durham, Belfast, Suffolk, Essex, Cheshire, Bedfordshire and Wiltshire – was created as a youth diversion scheme, as well as building trust and positive affiliations between the two groups.
PC Wallace, a youth engagement officer in Southwark and Lambeth, said: “This project is about the community and the police coming together as one.
“We’re delighted we are holding this specific event as this is key to bringing families together in a safe and fun environment while supporting our young people.”
Chief Inspector Annmarie Cowley, from Central South Basic Command Unit, added: “KickOff@3 is a fantastic initiative, bringing young people, the wider community and the police together, breaking down barriers and celebrating young people and their achievements.
“It is changing the narrative around the challenges our young people are facing within our communities and giving them opportunities to showcase their talents, especially in sport.”