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A group of 15 youngsters have been put through their paces on an Army assault course as part of a scheme to build positive relationships with the Police.
The group, aged 14-17 years from Hinckley and its surrounding area, completed the course at Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell on Saturday (11 May) as part of the Desert Rat Challenge.
The challenge saw them take part in teamwork exercises, laser shooting, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) activities and first aid training and was aimed at testing their brain as well as their fitness and educating them about the role of the Army.
They were accompanied by officers from Hinckley Neighbourhood Police Team who have built up a relationship with them over the past seven months thanks to the help of Leicester City Football Club’s Community Trust, Kicks Project which has provided regular coaching sessions in Hinckley and Heath Lane Academy.
The sessions were set up in response to anti-social behaviour in the area as a way of building positive relationships with the police.
PC Darren Measures has been a regular on the football pitch and joined youngsters for the Desert Rat Challenge.
He said: “We have built up a fantastic relationship with some of these youngsters and it was amazing to see them get so excited about this challenge. They threw themselves into it. Experiences like this help show young people just what they can achieve when they really put their mind to it. We hope they see that positive actions can have really positive results. It’s all about channelling their energy in the right direction.”
James 15, from Hinckley, who took part said: “I have met some new people on the trip and learnt about my own teambuilding skills, and how important working together can be. I would recommend to other young people to take part in the Desert Rats Challenge.”
Matt Bray manager of LCFC’s Community Trust programme added: “The Kicks project is all about using football as the vehicle to provide young people with positive messages they can take away and use at a later date. Without support from the local police and Army this opportunity would not have taken place.”
The Desert Rat challenge is open to youth groups across the area and takes place on 6 July, 28 September, 26 October, and 23 November. For more information contact [email protected]