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On Target

2 March 2013

On Target is the Football League Trust's estates-based project which is currently funded by The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, npower and a number of local partners.

On Target uses the positive power of football to engage with young people in areas identified by the police as hotspots for anti-social behaviour and crime.

The project seeks to raise aspirations in the young people, aiming to provide them with something to do and somewhere to go on Friday and Saturday evenings, traditionally a peak time for anti-social behaviour.

The project currently operates through the community trusts of Sheffield Wednesday, Scunthorpe United, Leeds United, Rochdale, Coventry City, Bristol Rovers and Bristol City.

Mike Evans, General Manager of The Football League Trust said: "Our 72 community schemes work in some of the most deprived wards of the country, and through 'the Power of Football' can engage with young people that other services fail to reach. On Target is a perfect example of an initiative that is proven to reduce crime locally whilst raising the aspirations of the participants involved."

During the 2010 World Cup, local youngsters in community projects across Sheffield competed in their very own World Cup style event, with coaches from Sheffield Wednesday's community programme hosting a tournament as part of the On Target project.

South Yorkshire Police community support supervisor Andy Brearley said: "The event was a success in taking young people away from the streets and engaging them through football.

"It gave them the chance to build relationships with South Yorkshire Police and make friends with other youngsters in the city, encouraging positive behaviour in the community."

At all clubs, On Target provides older teenagers with the opportunity to gain experience by coaching younger age groups at the weekly sessions.

The mentors are offered qualifications such as the Young Leaders Award from Sports Leaders UK and the project has linked up with schools to set out action plans for each participant, and engage with dysfunctional families or histories of crime within the family.

Players have regularly been involved in this scheme visiting estates and meeting youngsters.

There are two 90 minute On Target sessions, aimed at 8-11 year olds and 12-14 year olds, with at least three qualified members of staff to deliver each session.

Strong local partnerships exist in each area with the police, local authority, schools and colleges.

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