AN eight-week football project in Jericho kicked off at the weekend.

The project is being organised through the Jericho Community Association and will allow youngsters aged 13 or over to have an organised kickabout on Saturdays.

It is being set up after the community association received a grant of £740 from Oxfordshire County Council and it is hoped this could be the start of more fun, sports-based activities in the area.

Paul Hornby, vice chairman of the Jericho Community Association, said: “We believe there is a shortage of facilities for older children and younger teenagers in Jericho.

“Obviously we provide a cafe for the older members of the community which is held every week and we do quite a lot for them but we felt we weren’t doing our bit for the younger members of the community.

“We hope to include a whole programme of activities based around this and expanding into other sports.”

Youngsters wishing to take part can head to the St Barnabas playing field at 12.45pm, with the session lasting until 2.45pm.

There will be a qualified coach and the event is free and open to boys and girls.

As well as football, the Jericho Community Association will also be aiming to talk to young people in the area about what other activities they would like to see provided for them.

City councillor for Jericho, Susanna Pressel, said the football sessions plugged an important gap by giving young people a chance to play the game and could lead to a team entering a local league.

“I’m excited about this project and grateful for it being set up,” she said.

“It's about time we had something like this in Jericho – there are lots of keen footballers here and not much available for them.

“A kind local businessman has offered to pay for some kit, so if it takes off we can join one of the leagues, but we may just decide to have a lot of fun.”

The project started on Saturday and will run until April 22 and the community association plans to bid for more funding from Oxford City Council to run more activities.