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King of the football academies

Posted onPosted on 20th Feb

Former professional Liam King, who was born in Rainworth and still has family and friends there, is continuing to have a huge impact on youngsters through his growing football academies.

More than 600 boys and girls — aged from 18 months to 10 — are attending his Kixx Mansfield sessions across the area on a weekly basis.

He said that was a large increase on the number of children getting active in the region since he opened his academy in 2015.

King, 31, was a former professional footballer with Rotherham Town, Halifax Town and North Ferriby — and has just been appointed interim manager at Gainsborough Trinity.

While at North Ferriby he scored at Wembley as his club won the FA Trophy.

Alongside his football career, King also went into teaching for four years. However, after meeting Kixx UK founder, Ben Hunter, an opportunity arose for King to open his own football academy.

Kixx Mansfield was created in 2015 and through King’s guidance and coaching methods, it quickly became popular.

King’s academy was originally known as Mini Kicks, but following the growth of the children’s football academies across the country, the brand has recently changed its name to Kixx.

King said: “We have been delighted with the success of the Kixx Academies in Mansfield.

“Our numbers grow continually and it just shows the positive impact Kixx is having on the region — and throughout England.

“I met Ben back in 2014 and, after a discussion about my own career and desire to stay in football, he offered me the chance to open my own football academy in Mansfield.

“We shared the same goals and passion for helping children, and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

“The difference truly is how much we care about making a positive impact on these children and we genuinely care about what we do.

“My life has changed so much over the past three years. I’m busier now than I have ever been, running three businesses with the Kixx Academies, coaching more than 1,000 children every week.

“I wouldn’t change it for anything though, and helping these children is the most rewarding job I could ever have.

“Not only are we creating something pretty incredible in Mansfield, it is also part of a much bigger movement across the country.

“We want to get as many children active as possible and give them new skills they can use both on and off the pitch.”

Academies are held at the River Maun Recreation Centre and Brunts Academy in Mansfield; Joseph Whitaker Sports College, Rainworth; Ashfield School, Kirkby; Lammas Sports Centre, Sutton; Ravenshead Leisure Centre; and Dukeries Leisure Centre, Ollerton, among other venues.

Anyone wanting to find out more about Liam King’s football academy, Kixx Mansfield, should go to its Facebook page (@KixxMansfield) or visit the main Kixx website at www.kixx.org.uk

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