Arsenal Under-21s forward Kaylen Hinds made a return to Arsenal in the Community’s Kicks project at Elthorne Park in Hornsey on Thursday.
The 18-year-old grew up close by on Elthorne Estate, and was a regular participant of the community football programme himself until recently. He drops by regularly to catch up with his old team mates and Arsenal Community staff.
Kaylen’s visit this time round coincided with the project’s 10 year milestone at Elthorne Park.
The Kicks initiative is a national programme funded by the Premier League that aims to help build stronger and safer communities.
The scheme includes regular training sessions, matches and tournaments. While the immediate focus of the programme is football, there is a sharp focus on providing positive opportunities for young people.
Kaylen said: "It is very important to keep these kids out of trouble, so they couldn’t get influenced or tied down anywhere. Some the kids seeing me come from a Kicks Project and then playing for Arsenal, hopefully they will think they can do it too."
Arsenal in the Community coach Jack Ironside added: “It’s great to have Kaylen return to the project to meet the group. For the kids to know that Kaylen was where they were until recently, and to see what he’s doing now, it’s a big inspiration for everyone.”