A professional football club hosted a tournament to celebrate the renewal of a youth programme tackling violence and knife crime.

Leyton Orient Trust hosted the football tournament for over 100 young people to celebrate the commitment from the Premier League to fund the Kicks community programme for another three years.

The Premier League Kicks programme, for ages eight to 18, engages young through their passion for football.

Kicks gives young people access to free sports sessions and workshops addressing topics from equality and inclusion to youth violence and knife crime.

The programme also connects young people with support services, the police, housing associations, youth and leisure services and secondary schools.

On Friday, October 25, players aged 15-18 from the Leyton Orient Trust Premier League Kicks hubs in Chingford and Redbridge, along with several teams across London, took part in an all-day tournament in Leyton to celebrate the news.

The day started with a workshop delivered by the Metropolitan Police about knife crime and the consequences.

Players then competed in six-a-side football tournaments.

The girls’ tournament was won by AFC Stoke Newington and the boys’ tournament was won by Leyton Orient Trust College Study Programme.

Premier League executive director, Bill Bush, said: “Kicks is our flagship community programme and we are pleased that with the support of clubs and partners across the country, not least the police, we can continue to positively impact young people, providing them with opportunities and pathways that they may not have been able to access.

“Twenty per cent of current Premier League Kicks staff are former participants or volunteers, which goes to show how a long-term commitment can provide support and pathways for young people to better themselves, in turn allowing them to be a positive influence to others growing up in their community.”

PC Graeme Halleron, Metropolitan Police, added: “The knife crime workshops are invaluable in the current climate. Vital information with regards to law and consequences is passed on in a way that is easy to understand, using an interactive question and answer session, role play and video.”

The Premier League aims to grow the programme so that 90 UK football clubs are able to deliver sport and education sessions.

This investment will deliver Kicks sessions to more than 175,000 young people across England and Wales by 2022.

Hafiz Haque, lead development coach, Leyton Orient Trust, said: “It was a great event today – a fitting way to celebrate Premier League Kicks. It is a great programme to engage young people with football and subjects that matter to them. It was great to partner with Met Police on this event to deliver important messages about the consequence of knife crime, but also take the opportunity to positively engage young people in the football tournament.”