KOPS ‘n’ Kids returns with a bang this summer – with what is believed to be the first community football tournament organised by Runcorn Police Station for 40 years.
The free event at Runcorn Linnets’ pitches in Stockham Lane, Murdishaw, will see around 1,200 children having football fun and getting to know local police officers and PCSOs.
There will be 98 teams taking part, from Runcorn, Widnes, Ellesmere Port, Warrington and Liverpool.
There will be boys, girls and mixed teams, with small-sided competitions run for every age group between under sevens and under 14s.
Chief Inspector Leeroy Moss, of Runcorn Local Policing Unit (LPU), said: “KOPS ‘n’ Kids is a free sport-based activity scheme that our officers and PCSOs run with support from partner agencies to help children stay active and healthy and have fun.
“It also strengthens relationships and builds trust between young people and the police.
“The lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic temporarily prevented us from providing a range of fun activities for the children of Runcorn to enjoy during school holidays.
“Now that the restrictions have eased, KOPS ‘n’ Kids is coming back with a mammoth football tournament that will be held at Runcorn Linnets’ football pitches over four days.
“I can’t thank the team at Runcorn Linnets Junior Football Club enough for agreeing to host the event for free.
“The same goes for the Steve Morgan Foundation for paying all the other costs involved with hosting a football tournament, such as the referee fees, trophies for the winning teams and the medals that each participating player will receive, and for Halton Speak Out for securing the funding on our behalf.
“I would also like to thank Everton in the Community for agreeing to send some of their coaches to the tournament for the benefit of the children that will be there, and fellow partners Onward Homes for supporting the event too.
“Thanks to all of them, more than 1,000 children have a fun football tournament to look forward to this summer.”
The event will be held on the Saturdays and Sundays of 3, 4, 10 and 11 July, from 9am to 3pm each day.
PCSO Georgina Griffiths, who has helped to organise the event at Runcorn LPU, said: “We believe it to be the first community football tournament that the police station has organised in 40 years.
“We have a photograph (below) of participants of a tournament the station ran in the summer of 1981, on the same pitches in Murdishaw. It includes comedy star John Bishop.
“We would like to invite everyone in the photograph to come to the tournament in July as special guests.
“It would be great if we could take a photograph of them so that we have then and now photos.
“If you or someone you know is in the photograph, please call me on 01606 365596 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The Steve Morgan Foundation support projects that help children and families, people with physical or learning disabilities, the elderly or those that are socially disadvantaged.
Halton Speak Out supports people with learning disabilities and other vulnerable people by offering a wide range of services, including self-advocacy, person centred planning, employment opportunities, training, peer advocacy and dramatic and visual arts education and participation.
Everton in the Community, the official charity of Everton Football Club, delivers a range of programmes to promote health, education, social inclusion and equality of opportunity using the power of sport.
Onward Homes provides properties for rent and sale across the North West.