Classroom Challenge, featured

Panini Classroom Challenge Winner Announced

The ESFA and Panini are delighted to announce the winner of the latest edition of the Panini Classroom challenge as part of Panini Premier League Official Sticker Collection 2023.

Panini and the ESFA kicked off the 22/23 Schools’ Football season, by launching the latest edition of the Classroom Challenge. Schools across England were given the chance to receive PANINI PREMIER LEAGUE OFFICIAL STICKER COLLECTION 2023 goodies for their school, including worksheets with a competition to design a football shirt. The competition prize was set at a fantastic £2,000 cash for the winning school, plus a £50 Amazon voucher and football shirt for the winning pupil. To top it all off, winners also received the option of a presentation assembly for their school pupils.

Following a difficult judging process across a staggering 5,000+ entries, the ESFA and Panini are delighted to announce that Cranbourne Primary School in Berkshire produced the winning entry, thanks to Sofia from year 6.

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. Each design is noteworthy, given the work and effort that has gone into every submission.  

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.

Katie Gritt, Head of Marketing – Sport for Panini UK, said: “Panini are proud partners of the ESFA, providing schools with engaging classroom challenges which encourage creativity and offer the opportunity for schools to win cash prizes to support school resources. The chance to make a difference to children’s learning is of great importance to us at Panini. We’re always astounded by the number of entries we receive and the amazing designs that the children create. Football can inspire people in so many positive ways and we hope that the children will hold fond memories of participating in the Classroom Challenge.”

Stuart Botham, ESFA Chairman said: “The ESFA is delighted to continue to provide Panini Classroom Challenges to primary schools across England. It’s fantastic to be able to offer schools the chance to win some money to spend, but also to see the imaginative and creative designs that pupils come up with for each Classroom Challenge competition. It’s important for the ESFA to show that football is as relevant in schools off the pitch as on the pitch, and this continued partnership with Panini allows us to do just that.”

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

The ESFA would like to thank Sofia and all the pupils from Cranbourne 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.

Sponsors and Partners

The ESFA and FirstPoint USA relaunch partnership for 2023

The English Schools’ Football Association is delighted to announce the relaunch of our partnership with FirstPoint USA – the official sports scholarship partner of the ESFA.

FirstPoint USA, the world’s leading US sports scholarship and international student recruitment agency, will be working with the ESFA to promote the incredible life-changing opportunities available for ESFA Schools’ Cup players in America.

The partnership, which was first established in September 2020, has seen the ESFA and FirstPoint USA share the successes of their current sports scholarship students and promote the exciting possibilities that have opened up to ESFA players through the relationship with FirstPoint USA.

Stuart Botham, ESFA Chair said “On behalf of the ESFA, I am delighted to see this partnership with FirstPoint USA relaunched in the 2022/23 season. The ESFA provides footballing opportunities for hundreds of thousands of children each year and it is fantastic to work with partners that can provide a route for some of these players to progress both their sporting and academic achievements over in the USA. I hope to be able to follow the journey of some ESFA players as they embark on new routes, inspired through this partnership.”

Since 2001, FirstPoint has provided life-changing athlete-scholar opportunities in the USA for upwards of 30,000 young people, securing more than $300m in scholarship funding during that time. Officially certified by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), FirstPoint boasts a network of 2,500+ academic institutions in the US, placing its clients at some of best universities and colleges in the country.

Stuart McCaffrey, Director of Football for FirstPoint USA, added: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with the ESFA into 2023 and we’re looking forward to supporting those talented young players across England who are keen on pursuing the next step of their academic and football career in the States.

“Combining playing with studying for a degree at some of the finest facilities in the world offers young player a best of both worlds’ scenario. We know from our experience of working with athletes over the past 21 years that a sports scholarship can be life-changing, whether you continue into playing professional sport or progress into a successful career outwith sport, as many of our clients have done. Through the partnership, we’ll provide young players with the right information and guidance to help inform their decision.”

More information on FirstPoint USA and how you can get involved with their scholarship programmes or find out more will be emailed directly to schools in the coming days, however in the meantime, please head over to their website for more information and to contact FirstPoint directly to discuss options that are available for you.  

FirstPoint USA will be staging a series of assessment trials across England in February, at the following venues and dates:

  • Leeds | Woodhouse Grove School | Monday 13 February (Girls Only)
  • Leeds | Woodhouse Grove School | Monday 13 February
  • Birmingham | Tamworth FC | Tuesday 14 February
  • London | Brunel University Sports Park | Wednesday 15 February
  • London | Imperial College Sports Ground | Thursday 16 February
  • Manchester | The Armitage Centre | Monday 20 February

To register to attend one of these trials, please visit