Pictured above – Glenavon JFC from The Wirral won the RoadPeace Cup.
Dozens of young footballers from Merseyside, Wales and the Republic of Ireland heard messages about road safety at an under-15s grassroots football tournament on Friday (1 November 2019).
More than 100 boys took part in the RoadPeace Cup held at Anfield Sports and Community Centre at an event organised with the Liverpool Football Club (LFC) Foundation.
RoadPeace, representatives from Merseyside and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Services and the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership worked together to provide presentations and interactive experiences for those who attended.
Teams taking part in the tournament included, L4 JFC, Marshalls FC, Haydock Hurricanes FC, Glenavon JFC, Llandudno FC and Larkview FC.
The winning team Glenavon FC, from the Wirral, (pictured above) was presented with a trophy and medals from former LFC goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and RoadPeace trustee Pauline Fielding.
Runners-up Llandudno FC were also presented with a cup and medals (pictured above).
The World Health Organization’s global status report on road safety published last year revealed that road traffic injury is the leading cause of death for young people between five and 29 .
Department for Transport statistics show that there were 25,484 people seriously injured in crashes on Britain’s roads in 2018, along with 1,782 deaths. 
The event, which was attended by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Anna Rothery, is another part of RoadPeace’s Kick Start Safe Roads campaign, using football to raise road safety awareness.
It follows on from a tournament in February and sponsorship for the 2019/20 season of an under-15s football team, L4 JFC, who have been wearing the RoadPeace logo on their shirts.
RoadPeace Chief Executive Nick Simmons said: “RoadPeace is delighted to be working again with the LFC Foundation and partners on the Kick Start Safe Roads campaign.
“The tournament held in February was not only enjoyed by the young people who played, but they all engaged with and learnt about road safety.
“The second event has reached even more young people, with over 100 taking part on 1 November in the RoadPeace Cup.
“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 one in four 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 Coordinator Pauline Fielding, who spoke at the event, added: “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 again uses the power of football to help prevent further death and injury. We will never know how many lives it has saved.”
Pictured above – the young people learn about road safety.
LFC Foundation Premier League Kicks Project Lead, Tony Cosgrove, said: “LFC Foundation has been working with RoadPeace for the past 12 months, using football as a way of engaging with youngsters to promote important safety messages.’
“Through the Premier League Kicks project, we combine the educational work we do alongside Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service with RoadPeace’s messages around staying safe as drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
“Events like this really help to reinforce that message among the young people, as well as providing the opportunity for them to get involved in competitive games and have some fun.”
Merseyside Road Safety Partnership Safer Road Team Coordinator and Director of Road Safety Matters, Paul Mountford, said: “There is a clear link between sport and road safety. Both require a high level of physical and mental fitness that is hugely important if you are to be successful in sport and more importantly, safe on our roads, whether walking, cycling or driving. “You are never too young or old to learn about this and you only have to see the number of footballers and other sports people who are involved in road incidents to recognise how important it is.”
Notes to Editors