Football project to encourage good habits

This Boston team show off their new kits.
This Boston team show off their new kits.

Boston youngsters joined teenagers from across Lincolnshire to compete in a football tournament... where there was a special message.

The idea of the event - called Fair Play - was to use sport to prove to kids that there are better ways to spend spare time, rather than hanging around in the streets and possibly slipping into bad habits or, even worse, drugs and anti-social behaviour.

“The project, Fair Play, is built on the ethos of doing something positive with your life instead of falling into less positive actions at night,” said Dave Sampher, of Positive Futures, who organised the event alongside Lincolnshire County Council.

“We offer diversionary events such as football and sports activities. It’s all about enjoying yourself and doing something positive.”

The youngsters were selected from groups who take part in Positive Futures events held across the county on a weekly basis.

Competing at Carre’s Grammar School, Sleaford, last Wednesday were boys and girls teams from Boston, Gainsborough, Lincoln, Grantham and East Lindsey.

In total more than 250 teenagers took part.

As well as the six-a-side and three-a-side tournaments, competitors were introduced to a number of stalls run by partner organisations - offering advice on things from future employment to sexual health screening.

But the one stall that seemed to prove most popular was run by graffiti artist James Mayle of Image Skool.

He was customising teams’ kits by painting team and player names as well as squad numbers on their shirts.

Positive Futures was launched in September 2009 and it aims to use sport and other activities to establish good bonds and relationships with youngsters who are deemed to be detached from regular authority figures in their lives.