LYNWOOD (CNS) - Members of the Angel City Football Club are expected to play a friendly soccer match Tuesday evening against some incarcerated members of the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood in support of lower recidivism rates.
"Over the last five years, we've seen first-hand the positive impact soccer can have on individuals and communities, especially for people who feel there is little hope," said Hilton Freund, CEO of the Twinning Project, the United Kingdom-based organization that brings together professional football clubs and inmates for sport-based intervention efforts.
"By helping women in custody learn new skills and build confidence, we can help them create a better future for themselves once they leave jail."
Since launching in London in 2018, the Twinning Project has delivered hundreds of coaching and refereeing courses in men's, women's and young offenders' prisons across the U.K. The project is a partnership between HM Prison and Probation Service and professional football clubs with the objective of matching every prison in England and Wales with a local professional football club.
In its first Los Angeles initiative, the organization aims to show that inmates' participation in sports can have a profound impact on physical and mental health beyond tangible skills, confidence and overall improved well- being. Besides education and physical activity, the organization has been involved in job placement for inmates after completion of the program.
"For our incarcerated population, this can fundamentally change the trajectory of their lives and build a solid foundation for successful community re-entry," according to the organization.
Angel City's first team coaches and other sports professionals will deliver the course over six weeks at the women's detention facility in Lynwood. The club will provide three cohorts of up to 16 women each the opportunity to develop vital life skills, including organization, self-confidence and teamwork, all through the medium of soccer.
Angel City Football Club is a National Women's Soccer League expansion team that began play in 2022. The Los Angeles-based team has many high- profile owners, including Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria and Serena Williams.