Blackburn Rovers Community Trust boasts an impressive 48 projects and initiatives that work across a number of areas, but they all come together with one common dominator: to have a positive impact on the local and wider community.
The club’s official charity operates 360 days a year, with more than 50,000 participants benefiting from a huge array of programmes serving a specific need, but that does not mean that participants are limited to benefiting from just one project each.
Thousands of our participants are involved in numerous projects under the Community Trust’s remit, including Level 1 BTEC in Sport student, Kian Dean.
The teenager, who is from Blackburn, first got involved with the organisation’s work in September 2016 when he attended a Premier League Kicks session at the Highfield Park and St Bede’s satellite.
Premier League Kicks’ aim is to use the strength and profile of professional football clubs to create opportunities for young people between the ages of 14 to 21.
Kian heard about the Kicks concept through his local community centre, Ivy Street, and he is happy he attended, as the programme opened more doors for his education and future.
“I remember going to my first Kicks session and I really enjoyed myself,” Kian revealed. “The coaches were really good and we all had a good time. Without Kicks, I would probably have been doing something bad and have got into trouble.
“I ended up getting more and more into football because of Kicks and I took part in the programme for about 18 months.
“It gave me a real interest and I wanted to do more with Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, so when I found out about the BTEC in Sport programme, it is something I really wanted to do.
“I remember the Premier League Kicks coaches handing out leaflets about the BTEC programme, so I told my dad and he told me to go for it.
“I was accepted on the Level 1 qualification and I have loved every minute of it so far.”
Kian left Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School midway through his third year of high school and was home tutored until the end of his secondary education.
Unfortunately for Kian, he didn’t receive any GCSEs but that didn’t stop him from wanting to go down the further education line, and an opportunity presented itself for him at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust.
Premier League Kicks coordinator Chris Brankin, who was the first person at the Trust to meet Kian, was happy to see how far he has progressed in such a short space of time.
Chris said: “Kian’s story is an excellent example of how well our programmes link together. Kian clearly enjoyed the Kick sessions and he quickly became a regular.
“Kian demonstrated a great attitude at sessions and often helped to organise teams and with the administration side of things, ensuring everyone who attended each session was registered.
“He started to ask questions about anything we did from an educational point of view and we told him about our BTEC programme.
“It is amazing to see how well he is doing and it just shows what can be achieved from just turning up to one session.”
To find out more information about the Premier League Kicks programme, please CLICK HERE.