The Premier League turns 30 today (15 August), marking three decades of memorable moments here in Southampton and across the country. The Saints were there for the league's inaugural campaign, when a Glenn Cockerill captained side played at the Dell and featured the likes of Benali and Le Tissier – and now 30 years later, we've just kicked off our 24th season in the top flight, with new legends like Ward-Prowse and Walker-Peters making their own impact here at St Mary's.
But as well as the iconic players and legendary goals, the Premier League has made just as big of an impact off the pitch. Each season, they fund club charities like Saints Foundation to deliver life-changing projects in their local communities. This season alone, Saints Foundation will use more than £900,000 worth of funding from the Premier League and its partners to help in-need people live healthier, happier lives here in Southampton. Here's a look at just some of the projects they deliver thanks to the Premier League's support.
PREMIER LEAGUE PRIMARY STARS
Premier League Primary Stars uses the appeal of the Premier League and professional football to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills. Available entirely free to primary schools in England and Wales, it inspires girls and boys aged 5-11 in the classroom, the playground and on the sports field. Through the programme, the Saints Foundation team are deployed in 16 schools across Southampton, upskilling teachers in PE and giving pupils the tools they need to improve their English, Maths and PSHE.
PREMIER LEAGUE INSPIRES
Inspires is a Premier League initiative that aims to engage with young people who are at risk of not reaching their potential – supporting them as they move through the education system into early adulthood. Saints Foundation's Inspires team work in local alternative schools including SEND and pupil referral units, setting young people up to make the most of opportunities when they leave education by increasing their confidence, self-esteem, teamwork and communication skills.
Since taking part in Inspires, 87% of young people say they can now do things that they didn’t think they could do before.
PREMIER LEAGUE KICKS
Using football as a bridge to connect with 8 to 18-year-olds, Saints Kicks is the beating heart of our community. Sessions kick off every weekday evening across the city during school term time, using fast, fun football to give young people a positive way to spend their free time. Speaking to participants, Saints Foundation found that 79% of Kicks participants feel more positive about their future through taking part in the project.
The Premier League Charitable Fund supports several other Saints Foundation projects, including its Senior Saints sessions for older people and its Community Champions support for secondary schools. This allows the Foundation to understand the needs of our city and create projects based on that need – a tailored response to support Southampton in the best possible way.
To mark 30 incredible years of Premier League impact on and off the pitch, the PL Trophy is embarking on a seven-week tour of England and Wales, which includes a visit to one of Saints Foundation's charitable projects here in Southampton. Keep an eye on Saints Foundation, Southampton Football Club and the Premier League’s social media channels to find out more and be part of the celebrations.