The English Schools’ Football Association are delighted to announce the return of Schools’ Football Week, from 24 – 30 May 2021.
Schools’ Football Week is an ESFA initiative designed not only to highlight the huge scale of Schools’ Football in England, but also as an opportunity for schools, teams and clubs from across the country to embrace schools’ football and the wellbeing benefits it provides to pupils and players. With the anticipated lifting of restrictions on school and youth sport, the ESFA is looking forward to the 21/22 season and is keen, in the meantime, to draw attention to the wonderful world of Schools’ Football that, despite challenges, has been ever present throughout the last 12 months. The main focus for Schools’ Football Week 2021 is to provide an opportunity for children to get outside, have fun and enjoy being able to play sport with their school friends, competitively or otherwise.
We will be planning some different activities to take place throughout Schools’ Football Week and will keep you fully updated on these over the next few weeks. We will be officially launching Schools’ Football Week on Monday 19 April when we will be able to share with you all of our plans. We will be asking you to register activity taking place within your school so we can celebrate the participation numbers from across England.
In the meantime…
We are planning to host a specific day of activity on Wednesday 26 May, which will be known as Schools’ Football Week – Game On! On this day, we will be inviting all schools and colleges to host inter-house or intra-school tournaments – creating the biggest football match in the world! More details will be released, but in the meantime, please pop the date in your diary and think about how many matches your school could host on the 26th May.
Schools Football week 2020 took place from the 3rd- 7th of February and encouraged more than 22,000 school children from 2704 teams to take part in some sort of footballing activity throughout the week. The ESFA registered schools participating in a variety of activities from crossbar challenges and staff football matches to pupils wearing football shirts for the day and raising money for local charities. It has been a delight to see so many schools and teams get involved with helping to celebrate all things schools’ football!
The ESFA recruited former Schools’ Football, turned professional players, Everton’s Michael Keaneand Chelsea’s Tammy Abrahamto make videos backing the campaign and talking about their own personal benefits from Schools’ Football – a great start to the week. The campaign was also backed by various ESFA partners, who provided some great prizes and incentives for those schools and teams that got involved with the initiative. Here’s a selection of just some of the tweets from schools and Community Trusts who supported SFW 2020…
Wembley Tour for 30 pupils
As a prize for getting involved in Schools’ football week and registering activity, each school was entered into a draw to win 30 Tickets for a tour of Wembley Stadium courtesy of the FA. Over 340 different schools and teams registered their activity and the ESFA is delighted to announce the winner of the 30 tour tickets as Lings Primary School from Northampton. Although the school was picked at random, their social content also showed that they went above and beyond during the week, replicating the Soccer AM “you know the drill” videos during their break times. These were great to watch and allowed the whole school to get involved.
Bespoke Panini Sticker Spread
Thursday 6th February saw the Schools Football Week – Game On initiative launch, which was aimed at focusing on as much football activity as possible during one day of Schools’ Football Week. Everyone who used the #SFWGameOn hashtag on social media was entered into a draw to win a unique Panini sticker album spread of their team ( example shown below from last season’s international side). The lucky winner of this incredible prize is Ridgeway High School from Merseyside. ESFA Photographer, 353 Photography will head to Ridgeway School for their photos ready for Panini to put together and frame!
Free football kit, courtesy of Pendle
Finally, everyone who submitted a response to the Schools’ Football Week Pupil Survey was entered into a draw to win a full team kit courtesy of ESFA partners and official kit providers, Pendle Sportswear. Tithe Farm Primary School from Bedfordshire were drawn as winners of this competition. Both Pendle and the ESFA are delighted to be able to provide a free kit for this school in recognition of their pupils’ involvement in SFW.
As part of Schools’ Football Week 2020 the ESFA created a pupil survey on various topics surrounding schools football and the sport as a whole. This was a unique opportunity for pupils to give their feedback and opinions and the results were very interesting. Over 150 pupils responded to the survey, including providing feedback on whether they felt they had personally benefited from the ESFA’s list of “15 benefits of schools’ football” – the result of this particular question was excellent news for the Association –
Schools’ Football Week 2020 was largely a social media based campaign, aimed at reaching as many people as possible to promote the benefits of playing Schools’ Football. The ESFA’s social posts created over 115,000 impressions from followers on Twitter alone, during the course of the week.
Sports Minister, Nigel Adams, was also heavily supportive of the Schools’ Football week campaign and started off the week with a visit to Oaklands School in Bethnal Green, one of the schools that had registered their activity with the ESFA. During his visit, he talked to the pupils and teachers about why they love playing schools football and the mental health benefits of the sport, linking together Schools’ Football Week and Children’s Mental Health Week. He even got a chance to show off his skills during a kick about at break time. On the Friday, the Sports Minister released a video challenging pupils to find a a ball and a friend and show him their skills with a Keepy Uppie Challenge. We saw loads of great videos of pupils and teachers attempting the challenge!
As an Association, the ESFA has been delighted with this year’s uptake on Schools’ Football Week and is grateful to partners, the FA, Panini, 353 Photography and Pendle Sportswear, specifically for their support with the campaign. Also huge thanks to all the schools, teams, SSPs, Government agencies and Community Trusts that got involved with celebrating and highlighting the wonderful world of Schools’ Football.