Halton Borough Council is working in partnership with Cheshire Constabulary to host a football tournament at the Halton Stadium on Saturday 13 April.
The event is being organised by Runcorn LPU as part of the national KickOff@3 initiative which will see 160 youngsters aged 13 to 16 taking part in a football tournament against neighbouring Cheshire Policing Units.
There will be a focus on tackling anti-social behaviour and knife crime in a new way – through youth football.
The inaugural tournament, which starts at 12 noon, will feature teams of 13 to 14-year-olds and 15 to 16-year-olds from each of Cheshire’s LPU areas.
All the participants will receive medals and goody bags and the winning team in each age group will go on to represent Cheshire in the national KickOff@3 final in London in July.
The tournament is free to watch, with tickets being given to the players’ families and friends and handed out via local schools.
A host of Cheshire Constabulary’s partner agencies will be supporting the regional tournament at the Halton stadium.
The event will support two local charities Halton Haven Hospice and Young Addaction Halton with various fund-raising activities taking place including an auction of sporting memorabilia.
Chief Inspector Sarah Heath, of Runcorn LPU, said: “With an alarming rise in knife crime involving young people an increasing concern across the country, preventative measures are more important than ever.
“Young people roaming the streets of a weekend and on weeknights need appealing alternative ways to spend their time.
“The KickOff@3 tournament will not only give 160 youngsters aged 13 to 16 from across Cheshire a fun and healthy activity to enjoy but it will also present us with an opportunity to have an informal chat to them about knife crime and anti-social behaviour and educate them on the dangers and the importance of keeping themselves safe and out of trouble from the police.”
Cllr Dave Cargill, Chair of Safer Policy and Performance Board, said: “Halton Council are delighted to be working in partnership with Cheshire Constabulary on this KickOff@3 initiative that will see over 160 youngsters take part in a football tournament at our Halton Stadium facility.
“We look forward to welcoming representatives from neighbouring Cheshire Policing Units and hope that all participants enjoy their experience with us as we wish all teams the best of luck as they aim to reach the national final in London”.