Today (Friday 22 February 2019), the LFC Foundation, the official charity of Liverpool Football Club, hosted a Road Safety Awareness football tournament at Anfield Sports and Community Centre.
The tournament was organised in collaboration with RoadPeace, who has launched a campaign to use football as a way of raising awareness about road safety among young people – the Kick Start Safe Roads project.
Under-14s and Under-18s Premier League Kicks teams – from LFC Foundation, Everton in the Community, Liverpool FC, Club Doncaster Foundation, Rotherham United Community Sports Trust and Stoke City – competed in the tournament, with Everton in the Community winning the Premier League Kicks Road Safety Awareness trophies.
In between games, representatives from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, which includes Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Highways England, Merseytravel and local councils, delivered road safety workshops to the youngsters.
This tournament and the Kick Start Safe Roads project have been organised in an effort to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) across Merseyside by 2020. Department for Transport (DfT) statistics published last year showed there were five reported road deaths every day across Great Britain in 2017.
Through the Kick Start Safe Roads project and football, RoadPeace wants young people to understand road safety from the viewpoint of victims of road crashes and their families, along with vital education from road safety professionals.
LFC Foundation project lead, Tony Cosgrove, said: “We run tournaments like this regularly, because we know that football is a brilliant tool for engaging young people, by educating and getting them talking about critical topics like road safety.
“Today, the young people have not only enjoyed themselves, but will take away valuable information that may well save their lives.”
RoadPeace chief executive, Nick Simmons, said: “RoadPeace is delighted to be working with the LFC Foundation and partners on the Kick Start Safe Roads campaign, we have been excited to create an event that’s fun but also encourages young people to drive more safely.
“Too often young drivers, especially males, are associated with causing crashes. RoadPeace wants to ensure they are associated with safe driving and preventing crashes.
“Young drivers are much more likely to be involved in a crash, often due to inexperience and lack of knowledge of the risks. Around 1 in 4 deaths on the road are young people aged 17-24 and obviously just one such event is one too many. RoadPeace hopes this is just the start of reaching out to many young people around the UK to encourage them to use the skills they have learned through football to keep them road safe.”
RoadPeace trustee and North West branch coordinator Pauline Fielding has campaigned for 25 years for reduced speed limits and traffic lights to be installed at a junction where her son Andrew was killed, aged 18.
She said: “Too many lives are lost on our country’s roads – five each day and there are many more life changing injuries. As a bereaved parent I applaud the Kick Start project which will use the power of football to prevent further death and injury. We will never know how many lives it will save.”
Merseyside Road Safety Partnership safer road team coordinator and director of Road Safety Matters, Paul Mountford, said: “Driving is one of the most challenging activities anyone can do, particularly for those who have limited experience.
“There is a clear link between sport and driving as both require similar skills. Football is a fantastic medium for educating young people about driving as they already understand how to be successful at football – a good level of fitness, sharp reflexes and concentration. They also know how alcohol and drugs can adversely affect their performance.
“These interventions by RoadPeace and their partners offer an engaging and fun way for young people to learn whilst playing football. They bring together football clubs, police and road safety professionals to provide a complete package and have the potential to save lives by influencing young people at a critical stage in their lives.”
Notes to Editors
Source: DfT (2018)
The LFC Foundation (https://foundation.liverpoolfc.com)