Girls in Year 7 and 8 kicked off the annual Football Festival at Bolton School. Seven teams from four schools across the north of England came together for the first of three events celebrating football. This was the fourth year that the School has hosted the event for girls.
Cheadle Hulme, Leeds Grammar School, Liverpool College and Royal Grammar School Newcastle sent their best female footballers to the event, with three of the schools sending A and B teams to compete for the trophy. The teams took part in a non-elimination tournament with multiple rounds throughout the afternoon, enjoying plenty of matches against a variety of opponents and building up their total score.
The girls played with a huge amount of enthusiasm and passion, and there were some really exciting games towards the end of the afternoon with the end of the competition in sight.
Finally, the time came to announce the scores. In second place was the Leeds Grammar School A Team, who received medals. However, taking home the cup and winner's medals this year was the Royal Grammar School Newcastle A Team, who did not lose a single match over the course of the whole tournament. The prizes were presented with congratulations by Mike Askham, the Vice Chairman of ISFA.
Philip Britton, Headmaster of Bolton School Boys' Division, commented:
"It has been very important for us , as part of the local community, to be a leader for sport. We have the resource, in terms of facilities and people, to run competitions and to enthuse the next generation to healthy lifestyles and discover their sporting talents. Whether it is cross country or football, as an MCC Hub school for cricket or Water Polo we have sustained projects with local schools.
In the last year or two we have been especially proud of our partnership with the local football club and Lads and Girls Club as part of the Bolton Sports Alliance, pooling our resources to provide a high quality sporting experience to all the local primary schools in Bolton."
In addition, Bolton School's annual Football Festival for Years 3 and 4 was also once again a huge success, with hundreds of primary school children from thirty-seven local schools taking part in simultaneous matches across sixteen pitches.
The Year 4 teams played seven friendly matches within their groups, while the Year 3s played six games with one break across the seven time-slots. Having fun was the focus for the whole afternoon, as was playing the game in the right spirit. The youngsters were encouraged to abide by the English Schools' Football Association (ESFA) code of conduct, which includes guidelines such as abiding by the laws of the game and using skill rather than unfair means to beat opponents, not arguing with the referee, and accepting defeat gracefully and victory modestly.
The six-a-side matches were competitive, but each member of the ten-player squad got a turn on the pitch and the event was not about winning or losing but rather about enjoying the experience. The teams were strongly supported by parents and family from the sidelines.
The event for Years 3 and 4 pupils was part of a wider week of Football Festivals organised by Bolton School, which was kicked off by the Year 7 and 8 Girls' competition on Monday. Unfortunately the Year 5 and 6 Crusader Cup competition was cancelled this year due to bad weather.