Categories: General
      Date: Dec  4, 2013
     Title: Primary Girls Festival

On Monday at Meadowside leisure centre several schools from Burton and its surrounding area took part in an indoor 5 a side festival for Y5 and 6 girls. The festival was a pre-cursor, to the girls who took part ,going on to the Pirelli Stadium to watch England U17 Girls take on Portugal in the UEFA Under 17 Championships.

Many of the girls who  were involved in the morning had little or no experience of playing football of any description but that was immaterial as the festival was designed to be fun. No scores or scorers were recorded and the winners were the participants who all seemed to have a really good time. An added bonus and part of the Festival was an appearance by Jill Scott, a current full England International who has been in the headlines recently, signing for the newly formed Manchester City from Everton.

The excitement that the girls felt was palpable and the noise levels reached a decibel level above safety standards such was their enthusiasm. The standard of football may not have been the greatest but the joy of scoring a goal or the goalkeeper making a save was just as enjoyable to these girls as to their England counterparts in the afternoon game against Portugal.The Staffordshire FA and in particular Jodie Allard played a major part in the organisation and her colleague Alison Watson provided the photographs used here. The referees were barely required and despite the odd bump and bruise all went according to plan.

In days when Schools are becoming more and more reluctant to release staff and pupils from their day to day commitments the educational value of such events is immeasurable. The girls were given an opportunity to play a new game and hopefully have acquired a taste for it may consider playing again and joining a team or club. The chance to meet and speak, up close and personal, to a current International as well as throw questions at them was an opportunity not to be missed.Their social skille were in overdrive.

To take part and meet and play with girls from different schools and for staff to exchange ideas and views is something that cannot be measured  but the value cannot be denied.The girls visit to a stadium and to be able to watch future England hopefuls as well as enjoy the activities of the fanzone are things that will live long in the memory of these young people. It is a pity that some schools refused the chance to take part but congratulations to those schools who did and I am sure they will reap future benefits from their day out at football and hopefully we will see a new generation of girls enthused to play the beautiful game.

The photograph below illustrates superbly the unbridled joy of the girls taking part.