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Arsenal coach is Premier League Kicks Hero

PUBLISHED: 11:31 03 April 2017

Community coach Dillon White receives his special Premier League Kicks Hero comic strip from Arsenal's Alex Iwobi

Community coach Dillon White receives his special Premier League Kicks Hero comic strip from Arsenal's Alex Iwobi

Arsenal Football Club

White presented with award by first-team player Iwobi

Alex Iwobi featured in the special cartoon strip awarded to Arsenal's community coach Dillon White as part of the Premier League Kicks Hero schemeAlex Iwobi featured in the special cartoon strip awarded to Arsenal's community coach Dillon White as part of the Premier League Kicks Hero scheme

Dillon White, a former participant on the Arsenal Kicks programme, has been announced as the club’s Premier League Kicks Hero.

And White, who is now an Arsenal in the Community coach, was presented with his Premier League Kicks Hero comic strip by player Alex Iwobi, as part of the Premier League�s 10-year celebration of the programme.

Premier League Kicks is a youth outreach programme with the aim to create safer, stronger and more respectful communities through the development of young people’s potential, whilst giving youngsters access to facilities, coaching and mentoring.

In its first decade, Premier League Kicks has engaged more than 180,000 young people in weekly football, sport and personal development sessions held at local community venues across the UK.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain featured in a cartoon strip as part of Dillon White's Premier League Kicks Hero awardAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain featured in a cartoon strip as part of Dillon White's Premier League Kicks Hero award

A total of 68 Premier League, English Football League and National League clubs now run the programme and White joined the Arsenal Kicks programme when he was 14 years-old and took part in numerous sessions and tournaments with the Arsenal in the Community team.

After finishing school and completing an apprenticeship in health and social care, he became a club community coach and his continued success led to him training for and achieving his FA Level 1 and 2 coaching badges.

White’s great work in engaging and helping local young people has led to fantastic outcomes on the Arsenal Kicks programme and as such his story has been immortalised in the comic strip illustration designed by Marvel and DC Comics artist John McCrea.

White said: “Arsenal Kicks has given me a platform to grow from, a purpose and drive to succeed, and an appreciation of what it takes to work within the local community and how to assist the needs of the local young people who take part in Kicks.

“I have seen first-hand how the Kicks programme can help young people, as I was once in their shoes. I simply wanted to play football on a decent pitch and in a safe environment. I could never have imagined, all these years later, that I’d be working for Arsenal in the Community.”

Iwobi added: “It’s great to be able to recognise Dillon’s hard work and to be here to present him with this personalised comic strip. It’s a lasting memory of the journey he’s been on with Arsenal in the Community and the Kicks programme. I hope his achievements help to inspire other young people to get involved.”

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