Sponsors and Partners

ESFA Launch New Partnership with STATSports

The English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) announce STATSports as their Official GPS Partner

STATSports are the global leaders in GPS sports performance analysis, combining cutting-edge proprietary technology, with revolutionary sport science and first-class client support.

The first GPS wearable to receive FIFA’s highest award for data accuracy, reliability, and consistency, STATSports’ Apex technology is used by world-renowned football clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, and Juventus, plus international federations such as England, Belgium, Portugal, and Brazil.

In 2019, STATSports launched their Apex Athlete Series GPS performance tracker for the individual player, and their Apex Coach Series analysis platform for football coaches at all levels. Premier League stars including Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, and Phil Foden are STATSports global ambassadors and investors in the company.

ESFA Chairman, Mark Hignett said: “The English Schools’ FA is delighted to be partnering with STATSports as the Association’s Official GPS Partner. As part of the agreement, we have been able to supply our two International squads with GPS trackers, which will provide our Team Managers with further insight into our players’ performance, something which is invaluable to us, particularly with so many competitive matches coming up in the next couple of months. We are looking forward to working with STATSports to share their GPS technology with all those schools and teams that are part of ESFA activity and to seeing what these teams are able to achieve with this new technology on offer”

Sean O’Connor, Co-founder of STATSports, said: “The England Schools Football Association is an iconic youth football organisation so it’s great to partner with them and bring our world-class GPS performance technology to their teams and players. We believe the more universally our trackers are used within the grassroots game, the more chance talented young footballers will fulfil their potential.”

STATSports will be supporting the ESFA’s international programme with GPS trackers, to help players and Team Managers gain further insight and analysis into the players’ performances. They attended the recent inspiresport training camps at St George’s Park to present the players with their new devices and show them how to best utilise them for training and matches. Richy Alderson, England U18 Schoolboys’ Team Manager said “As the current Manager of England U18 Schoolboys’, I believe that sports science has a massive impact on performance at any level, not just international or professional level. The GPS trackers, kindly donated by STATSports for this forthcoming international campaign, allows the management team and players to monitor fitness levels. We can identify after the friendly games and training the level that each individual player is working at in terms of cardio-vascular fitness, speed endurance and also monitoring positional play by using heat maps. 

The players have really enjoyed using the tracking devices and use them all the time. They are easy to use and downloading the information is simple and provides valuable feedback to the player and the coaches.”

To celebrate the launch of this partnership, STATSports are offering a 10% discount on their APEX Athlete Series product. To claim this offer, enter the code ESFA10 on the STATSports Website.

To find out how your team can benefit from STATSports technology please contact Mark Haughey – m.haughey@statsports.com for more information.


Photos courtesy of threefivethree photography

Classroom Challenge

ESFA & Panini Classroom Challenge Winner Announced

Through the ESFA and Panini’s ongoing partnership, in late 2021, primary schools in England were invited to register to receive some PREMIER LEAGUE OFFICIAL STICKER COLLECTION 2022 goodies for their school, including worksheets with a competition to design a football boot. The competition prize was set at a fantastic £2,000 cash for the winning school, plus a £50 Amazon voucher and a football shirt for the winning pupil. To top it all off, winners also receive the option of a presentation assembly for their school pupils.

Following a difficult judging process across a staggering 10,000+ entries – the largest number ever received for a Classroom Challenge – the ESFA and Panini are delighted to announce that St Gilbert’s RC Primary School in Manchester produced the winning entry, thanks to Oliver from year 6.

Oliver’s fantastic, winning Shark Air design

The ESFA judges were delighted with the quality of entries submitted from all participating schools and found the level of work that went into each of them was impressively high. As such, they have published the other nine shortlisted entries below because each one is noteworthy, given the work and effort that has gone into every design.

Beatrice from Sandwich Junior School was honoured with third place with her Winnie the Pooh based design and Reshmi from Revoe Learning Academy in Blackpool was placed in second with their striking boot design.

This has been the most hotly contested Classroom Challenge to date, with the highest number of entries yet. It has been a pleasure for the ESFA and Panini to see the popularity of the Classroom Challenge continue to grow within schools in England with each new competition launch.

Nick Clark, Special Projects Editor for Panini UK, said: “We were so impressed to see over 10,000 entries from schools participating in the Classroom Challenge competition to design a football boot. The level of detail and creativity of the submissions was outstanding – a big well done to all those children who sent in their amazing creations. Congratulations to our winner, Oliver from St Gilbert’s RC Primary School, for creating such a clever, well thought-out design. We look forward to presenting both Oliver and the school with their prizes soon.”

Mark Hignett, ESFA Chairman said: “The ESFA is delighted to continue to bring the Classroom Challenge into primary schools in England. It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to encourage the creativity of pupils, whilst also providing them with Panini collections and worksheets to further their interest and knowledge of football on a wider scale. The Classroom Challenge entries to design a football boot have been incredible, we have been blown away by the scale of entries and also the creativity that has gone into each and every one. I would like to congratulate Oliver on their winning design and look forward to seeing their presentation later on this season.”

Take a look at the rest of the shortlisted designs below:

The ESFA would like to thank Oliver and all the pupils from St Gilbert’s RC Primary School, plus all the other competing schools, for taking the time to enter this competition, and for providing such fantastic examples of artistic design by young students.