Photo gallery: Grant Holt plays dodgeball at relaunched North Walsham youth project

Grant Holt playing dodgeball with youngsters at the North Walshsm Street Sprots session.PHOTO: ANTON

Grant Holt playing dodgeball with youngsters at the North Walshsm Street Sprots session.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Football hero Grant Holt was on the ball to re-launch a youth project with the goal of keeping youngsters fit, healthy and out of trouble.

North Walsham Street Sports youngsters with their VIP visitor Grant Holt. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

North Walsham Street Sports youngsters with their VIP visitor Grant Holt. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Street Sports is the follow up to the Kickz scheme at North Walsham which attracted scores of teenagers for football-driven activities and had the added bonus of halving crime and antisocial behaviour in the area.

The re-launched scheme now also caters for younger children aged 8-12 and a wider range of sports.

And there was a treat when the Norwich City striker pitched up to join in games of dodgeball, sign shirts, and answer questions on topics ranging from his penalty miss against Southampton ('I was annoyed - but it was a good save'), to his favourite food (Sunday lunch).

Afterwards the Canaries captain said: 'It was a good session and the kids really enjoyed themselves. It's great that they have somewhere to come and do something constructive every week.


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'We had a couple of good games of dodgeball and I helped the girls team win despite some blatant cheating from the boys!'

The whistle was blown on Kickz when funding ran out but organisers Norwich City Community Sports Foundation (CSF) and a local steering group drummed up more than cash, including from wealth management fund St James' Place Foundation which will guarantee the future of Street Sports until at least 2016 - a investment worth £150,000 which is also supporting sessions at Dereham and Norwich's Heartsease.

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Dan Crouch, community cohesion officer for CSF, said: 'The community has really come together to keep this going.

'I was there on the last two Fridays and there were 65 and 45 young people there, which shows how popular it is. It will make such a positive contribution in providing activities in North Walsham, where there is not necessarily much for young people to do.'

Street Sports North Walsham offers football, a range of other sports, and workshops on subjects including drug and alcohol abuse prevention, and sex education, to young people.

It runs at the sports centre on Mondays and Fridays from 6-8pm.

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