A PIONEERING scheme in Kirklees to divert young Muslims away from drugs may be copied by other parts of the UK.
The Batley-based We Can Kick It project uses diversionary sports activities - such as soccer and even archery - coupled with drugs education.
Now, towns and cities with large Asian populations, such as London, Leicester and Blackburn, are looking at using similar schemes.
We Can Kick It is aimed at Muslim children aged 11 upwards.
It brings together representatives from the police, NHS, Kirklees Drug Action Team and the mosques in a wide range of education and sport that understands religious beliefs and provides education relating directly to the teachings of Islam.
The need for this service was recognised by a young couple who were running a football coaching class.
They recognised the naivety of the Islamic students.
A spokesman for the project said: "About 30 local children were involved in the football classes.
"We used to hear them talking among themselves about drugs and other issues. We quickly recognised they were relying on each other for information - and had many misconceptions.
"They knew all the slang names for drugs, but didn't know the dangers."
The We Can Kick It project was set up by a five-strong team, all qualified to talk to children about the dangers of drugs.
Information on the health implications of drug use is given by people from the NHS, the legal implications are taught by police and the teachings of Islam on drugs are by a Muslim cleric.
Pc Stuart Pearson, of Dewsbury police, said: "We Can Kick It is tailor-made to access a community that is difficult to reach. Through the Islamic teachings the students are able to see how this relates to them.
"The programme is sensitive to the cultural and religious beliefs of the participants. This is the key to being able to engage with them."
Pc Pearson added: "Due to the recent reclassification of cannabis there has been a lot of confusion among the students. Many believed this meant the drug had been made legal.
"We Can Kick It is a great opportunity for me to set the record straight that cannabis is still illegal."
Sport is seen as a diversion and can break the curiosity to drugs.
There is a six-strong team to concentrate on this, with a qualified nutritionist and two qualified fitness instructors training to become archers in order to add archery to the growing list of sports available through the project.
The We Can Kick It project was set up in Batley two years ago and now also covers Dewsbury.
Already almost 600 youngsters have benefited from it.
For more information on We Can Kick It look at the website www.wecankickit.co.uk, phone 0771 7211 547 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org