Monday 4 Aug 2003


Region & Route:
| Southern
Network Rail and Southend United are celebrating the end of a successful first year of partnership and are looking forward to another year of spreading the railway safety message together.  Network Rail, the railway infrastructure owner and maintainer, sponsors Southend United’s Football in the Community Scheme.  More than 90% of railway crime is committed by young people who risk their lives by using the railway as a play area.  In South Essex, on the c2c route, many children are seen using dangerous short cuts, throwing stones, placing objects on the track and playing ‘chicken’ in front of the trains.  Every single act of railway crime has the potential to cause serious harm or even death and can have long-term effects for those involved.  Therefore, Southend United’s educational Football in the Community scheme targets children between the ages of 10 and 11.  The team visits their schools and through soccer coaching sessions and assembly talks teaches the children the importance of staying away from the railway.  The children, who are in year 6 will then take these important messages with them to senior school.  Southend United also holds holiday coaching sessions at numerous locations, which fills-up the very long holiday periods. - more -Soccer – 2 Since Christmas Southend United have worked with 1200 children at 15 venues.  In the coming year the scheme is being expanded to cover 42 schools and nearly 4,000 children.  The feedback received from schools and individual children so far has proved the value of the coaching sessions.  Jon Wiseman, General Manager, Network Rail says: “The railway is not a playground and Southend United is doing a great job in spreading this message to the people who really count – children.  I am hopeful that our second year in partnership will be as worthwhile as the year just passed.”

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

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