“I guess that will have to do” was the only thought that came to me when I was given exactly 30 seconds to photograph Wilfried Zaha for the Premier League recently.
The Premier League runs an initiative called “Premier Kicks” which aims to inspire and help children from less advantaged backgrounds get into sport. I was invited to photograph a recent session of Premier Kicks in Crystal Palace. Wilfried Zaha was the guest star of the evening and he certainly did provide the kids with inspiration. They were so excited I felt a bit sorry for the man trying not to get mobbed by the loving crowd. He did a quick presentation of his football skills and took his time letting all the kids take selfies with him. The fact that he himself was a Premier Kicks kid before his successful career as a midfielder for Crystal Palace really sparked the kids’ imagination.
At the end of it all, I had 30 seconds to take a few portraits of Wilfried to promote the Premiere Kicks initiative. He was then swiftly whisked off by his management leaving the kids with dreams of fantastic football careers and cars like his Lamborghini.
I also met George Henry who is a coach for Premier Kicks - another ex-kid from the Crystal Palace Kicks program proving that with a little bit of passion and a helping hand in inspiration, we can all do great things. After the madness of the event I jumped in the car with George and grabbed a few photos of him in the neighbourhood that he grew up in. He still lives there and tries to give as much back as he can through the work he does inspiring kids with sport.
Thank you Premier League for making me a part of your great initiative.
If you would like to know more about Premier League Kicks, here is a link: http://www.premierleague.com/content/premierleague/en-gb/communities/2014-15/about-premier-league-kicks/