Monday 21st October saw the initial planning meeting for the coming year at the marvellous Empress State Building in West Brompton/Earl's Court. The view from the 27th floor as stunning as the enthusiasm and commitment from members of organisations experienced in the KickOff@3 ethos and hearing about us for the first time. I am proud to say that if it were possible, the atmosphere at my first meeting as Volunteer Administrator fired up my determination even further.
Co-Founder, Michael Wallace walked us through a fast-paced presentation on the backbone of our work and intentions to expand the range of engagement activities and the Police Authorities taking part. Current and potential partners shared their thoughts and connections were made which will likely result both in our first all girls teams, via links made between Michael and a local school, in his role as a Community Youth Engagement Officer and in conversation post-meeting to creating mixed teams from the same Borough.
We were treated to details of working within the community having the most complex challenges by Andy George of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), one of our most passionate Police Leads, with a proven track record of changing lives via the medium of KickOff@3 and a great example to those looking to sign up to host their first tournaments in 2020. We are a family and we stand by our history of working together for the good of all the communities in which we have a presence.
We also heard from our staunch champion Dr Angela Herbert, who expounded upon her pride in all of our good work, but sadly admitted to not liking football - what a tragedy. In her defence, she works through this challenge by enjoying time with players after the final whistle, hearing first hand the changes in their lives resulting from our engagement work.
Michael also introduced an informative talk by Verity Bramwell of OLLIE Foundation, our new partner for the coming year and sponsors of the 13-14s cup. There were also brief discussions on adding further value from our associations with both the RAF and local Morrissons stores in the fields of mentoring, education and broad-based recruitment, healthy lifestyles and eating habits. We have enormous potential to roll out RAF and Morrisons partnerships at every tournament, not just the finale, and will be working closely with our current contacts to achieve this.
Following some a lively discussion on how the roles of Youth Community Engagement Officers and KickOff@3 Police Leads/Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) overlap, we were treated to an enthusiaistic summary from Tracy (with the odd contribution from Deborah) our hard-working co-ordinators from the Metropolitan Black Police Association, very focussed on finishing the meeting on time.
There was enough time though, for some group photos and the handing out on of beaustifully cast coins and badges marking the 25th anniversary of the Black Police Association, which I'm incredibly proud to be looking at as I type this post.
Thanks all for a wonderful day.
Please see below some wonderfully candid photographs from the day, courtsesy of Rebecca Fennell.
KickOff@3 National Planning Meeting 2018
After the ten national tournaments and grand finale in Bromley in memory of Daniel De Gale, contributors from across the UK came together to debrief and learn from the activities in 2018 and plan for 2019.
Those in attendance were police and community representatives from various London Boroughs, including Enfield, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Ealing and Kingston & Richmond.
The meeting also enjoyed national attendance from police and community contributors hailing from Durham, Cheshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Wiltshire, Greater Manchester, Belfast and Scotland.
We were also delighted to have key partners including Loy Hartwell from the Met Police BPA (Black Police Association), Radio Verulam, the RAF and Striking Places Photography.
Other interested parties included St Albans City FC and Middlesex Football Association.
Representatives from the Met Police Beat the Bleep from the London Borough of Ealing we able to attend and we were really pleased to see Andy Kowalski, our volunteer referee..
Michael Wallace lead the meeting with the support of the BPA (Black Police Association). Tracy Gittens and Deborah Thomas were on hand to keep the presentation on track. Great job girls!
It was clear from discussions that there is a huge benefit gained by including not only the local police forces but also community leaders and influencers. Going forward the original blueprint has evolved to a formula for running the events and will included the requirement for both specific points of contact from the police and the community.
The ten tournaments held in 2018 were Waltham Forest, Enfield, Durham, Havering, Bromley, Croydon & Lewisham, Hertfordshire, West Midlands, Ealing & Hounslow, Northern Ireland, Southwark.
KickOff@3 has had expressions of interest to extend the format overseas to Vancouver in Canada and Minnesota, Indianapolis, USA.
We are currently accepting proposed dates and venues from all relevant specific person of contact. The closing date for confirmation of venue and proposed associated local charity is expected to be January 2019.
All tournaments must be run before the end of May 2019 to be eligible for entry to the Summer finale 2019.