High Peak youth football team tackle knife crime

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An under-12s football coach held a training session on knife crime to ‘educate’ young players about the worrying epidemic.

High Peak Harriers FC coach Michael Pritchard, 43, designed the special session after reading more about the issue in the news.

Father-of-two Michael, said ‘something has to be done’ about the deadly problem - as more and more young people were exposed to violence in computer games and on television.

During the training session the young players took part in challenges such as a relay with a football during which they dropped fake knives in bins.

After various physical challenges they had a team discussion about the escalating problem on UK streets and how they should react if they came across knives.

Michael said: “We talked not just about walking away from a scary situation but the ripple effect that knife crime has on victims and offenders and their families.

“They loved the session and they had fun - playing the games stopped it being too morbid.

“But I think they’re wiser now - more aware of it and a bit more confident about dealing with a situation they don’t necessarily have control of.

“Who knows - if this is repeated with other youth clubs across the country it could potentially save someone’s life.”

Quarry worker Michael told how with young players and his own sons talking about days out in big cities it was important they had a better understanding of knife crime.

He said: “It’s everywhere now - and all over the TV and in computer games.”

Players also designed anti-knife crime posters to win a favourite team’s training shirt - with the winner to be announced.