The Everton Former Players' Foundation was established in 1999 and has gone on to become one of the leading former players' charities both in Britain and in Europe.
As part of its mission statement as well as helping former players the Foundation is charged with helping young people through sporting activity.
As part of this remit E.F.P.F. has linked up with the Everton in the Community's Premier League lead Kickz programme. The Foundation approached EITC in order to sponsor a team and agreed to an initial one year sponsorship of the Copperas Kickz team.
Copperas Kickz was formed just over two years ago by its Manager Lee Donafee. Lee who back in April 2010 set up football coaching for the local youths in the Croxteth and Norris Green.
The coaching soon became popular enough for him to have over 40 youngsters turn up for lessons.
At first he self funded the two teams he formed from the youngsters who turned up and he has now gone on to form up to 5 teams - Copperas tots U7s and U10s, Copperas Juniors U17s, Copperas Kickz and U21s Obier FC.
Lee now works closely with the Everton in the Community (EITC) and his team took the Kickz tag shortly afterwards.
Kickz is a national initiative, supported by the Premier League, which works towards creating stronger, more respectful communities thorough football.
Working in partnership with Merseyside Police, Everton in the Community lead football sessions in areas which have high incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour to encourage children to develop their potential.
The objectives of this project are to:
- Engage young people in a range of constructive activities which link to the Every Child Matters framework
- Break down barriers between police and young people
- Reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in targeted neighbourhoods
- Increase the playing, coaching and officiating opportunities for participants
- Create routes into education, training and employment
- Encourage volunteering within projects and throughout target neighbourhoods
- Increase young people's interest in and connections with the professional game
EFPF Chairman Laurence Lee said: 'Everton Former Players Foundation is pleased to sponsor the Copperas Kickz team which will form part of our charity's work with the young people of this City.'
'We are also delighted to link up with our sister Charity the Everton in the Community who run the Kickz programme. We wish team manager Lee Donafee and his coaches and of course the young lads who make up the team all the very best for the forthcoming season and we hope this will be a long and successful sponsorship for both parties.'
Paul Nagle of EITC said: 'I think the Everton Former Players Foundation linking in with Everton in the Community Kickz project is a fantastic initiative, it just shows how close both Everton FC charities work together and it sends out a message to our community that we are the peoples club, for former players to give time to these youngsters and sponsor a football kit is a terrific gesture, these young people from Croxteth, Anfield and Norris Green are a shining light in their own communities and enjoy playing football on the Kickz project and the Kickz football team.'
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