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Sadiq Khan has kickabout at Hackney Wick FC to launch summer activities programme for kids

PUBLISHED: 16:29 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:46 20 July 2018

Sadiq Khan shows off his skills on the pitch. Picture: Gary Morrisroe

Sadiq Khan shows off his skills on the pitch. Picture: Gary Morrisroe

Archant

Sadiq Khan had a kickabout on Mabley Green this morning to launch his summer project to fund activities for kids.

The mayor chats to Bobby Kasanga. Picture: Gary MorrisroeThe mayor chats to Bobby Kasanga. Picture: Gary Morrisroe

Speaking at Hackney Wick FC, the mayor revealed he is using cash from his £45million Young Londoners programme to help fund activities for those at risk of becoming involved in crime.

Youth services across the capital have been forced to close as a result of devastating government cuts to councils.

Whitehall did announce an £11m Early Intervention Youth Fund as part of a serious violence strategy three months ago, but have yet to cough up.

Hundreds of projects including football, swimming and cookery lessons will help more than 3,500 children this summer.

He was even presented with his own Hackney Wick FC shirt. Picture: Gary MorrisroeHe was even presented with his own Hackney Wick FC shirt. Picture: Gary Morrisroe

Bobby Kasanga’s Hackney Wick FC is one of the first projects to benefit. They have been given £10,000 to run Street Tekkers for kids in gangs or who have been in the criminal justice system.

Wick FC has 16 youth teams and runs sessions for kids with additional needs as well as those in gangs or on the brink of gang life.

Bobby said: “I would like to thank mayor Khan for supporting the fight against knife crime in Hackney and all over London.

“The Street Tekkers initiative is something we have been planning for some time and we hope that it encourages familiarity between youths from different communities and helps to put an end to post code wars.

“We will be running a full football programme five days a week during the summer holidays and we want as many youths to take part as possible.”

Mr Khan said he knew how crucial youth services were as growing up on a south London estate he witnessed people he knew take the wrong path.

“Sadly, there are now far fewer opportunities like this for young Londoners due to the massive cuts from the government,” he said. “I’m doing all I can and I’m funding a range of initiatives over the summer months and beyond, including sports activities.

“Policing alone will not solve violent crime – we also need a relentless focus on prevention so we can give young Londoners the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

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