Sponsors and Partners

Support the ESFA Team in raising money for Grief Encounter

Help us support our charitable partners, Grief Encounter in their Forget-Me-Not Walk 2021

Members of the ESFA staff and Council teams will be supporting Grief Encounter’s Forget-Me-Not Walk on 21 March 2021 in order to help raise funds for the service they provide to young people and their families in England, by walking in memory of someone they have lost.

The ESFA has set up a specific JustGiving Team page in order to pool funds raised by the Association to be donated to Grief Encounter in support of their latest campaign. If you haven’t already, you can read the full details on the Forget-Me-Not Walk here.

The ESFA Team would be grateful for any contributions to their fundraising efforts on behalf of Grief Encounter and you can visit the specially created Just Giving page here:


About the Team

Andrea Chilton, CEO: Andrea will be walking in memory of ESFA Council Member, Paul Rickard, who very sadly and suddenly passed away in 2020. Andrea, with the help of her Mum’s friends (!) has already raised over £300 for Grief Encounter with her walk

Phil Harding, Chairman: Phil will be walking for at least 26 minutes along the picturesque White Cliffs of Dover.

Mike Spinks, co-optee FA Council Member: Mike will be walking in memory of a member of his teaching staff who tragically died in school in 1995. Her very sad passing left Mike and his fellow teachers having to deal with bereavement issues with their pupils, but led to the creation of a school bereavement policy, which has since been shared with schools all around theh world, helping them to be able to deal with similar tragic circumstances within their own community

Mark Hignett, ESFA Vice Chairman: Mark will be inviting 26 members of his family and friends to get involved by doing their own Forget-Me-Not walks in March, or donating to his cause.

Darren Alcock, National Competitions Manager: Darren will be walking in memory of former ESFA CEO, Malcolm Berry. A mentor to Darren, after first employing him as a member of ESFA staff 25 years ago this March.

Josh Thornton, National Competitions Secretary: Josh will be walking in memory of two family members; his brother, Paul who sadly passed away some years ago, and his Gran who Josh lost only in February 2021. Josh will be walking on the 21 March with his dog, Frazier – together they will walk either 2.6km or 26 laps of the local park…depending on how much walking Frazier wants to do!

Gavin Rusling, ESFA South West Council Member: Gavin will be walking in memory of several parents who have sadly passed away over recent years. These parents were linked to teams that Gavin has coached, or students that he has taught. Gavin and his dog, Delilah will be walking together on the 21 March. They have already been on a 5k training walk.

Owen Aiston, ESFA North Council Member: Owen will be walking in memory of his good friend, John Appleby, who sadly passed away in 2020. John was Chairman of the ESFA when Owen joined Council in 2011 and they developed a very close friendship over the coming years. Owen will be walking up in the North East of England with Bruno the dog.

Dawn Howard, ESFA Finance Officer: Dawn will be walking in memory of Don Palmer OBE on what would have been his 90th birthday. Don was a member of the ESFA Council for over 30 years and encouraged Dawn to study for her professional accounting qualifications when she first joined the Association in the late 1980s. Dawn is planning on doing 26,000 steps and scattering Forget-Me-Not seeds along the way.

Nick Loftus, Midlands Council Member: Nick is planning to walk 26,000 steps along with his wife and dog.

Sarah Kearney, PR, Marketing & Comms Exec: Sarah will be walking in memory of her best friend, Rhiannon Gauntlett, who tragically and suddenly passed away from meningitis in February 2020, leaving behind a 9 month old daughter. Sarah plans to walk 26,000 steps (split between herself, her husband, Scot and daughter, Hollie) on 21 March, walking around 8600 steps each in the local area.

Mike Coyne, Chair of Trustees

Ian Laithwaite, Commercial Director: Ian will be walking in memory of his Dad, John who sadly passed away in 2016. Not a day goes by without Ian and his family missing John’s presence and they felt it would be a fitting tribute to him to take part in an event raising money to support other people in times of grief. Ian plans to walk 2.6 miles on the 21 March

Classroom Challenge, Sponsors and Partners

The ESFA Panini Classroom Challenge Returns!

Win the biggest yet cash prize for your school with the ESFA & Panini’s Classroom Challenge for 2021

The Classroom Challenge continues in 2021 with a brand-new opportunity for your school to win a huge £3,000 cash with a ‘Design a Football’ competition – but hurry, there’s only 2,000 packs up for grabs!

January’s Classroom Challenge was cancelled due to the lockdown, but Panini and the ESFA were able to share 450 resources out to primary schools in England to help support the key worker and vulnerable children still attending schools. These resources were gratefully received by participating schools…but now it’s time to relaunch the competition for up to 2,000 schools to enjoy in April and May.

The Classroom Challenge returns with some exciting opportunities for your school

For the chance to take part in the competition, putting your school in the running to win a huge £3,000 cash prize, a Panini assembly and trophy presentation, plus a £50 Amazon voucher and a football shirt for the winning pupil. All you need to do is register your school via this link.

Aside from the fantastic Classroom Challenge competition, your school will also receive sticker albums, sticker packets and a competition guide, which you can use within your school. We have had some amazing feedback from teachers from across England on the benefits of receiving these goodies and entering our competitions – here are some of our favourites:

“Although we didn’t win, our children have absolutely loved taking part. The packs have gone down a storm and I’m constantly getting children coming up to me to show me which players they’ve got.”

“The packs have gone down very well in school. We had a few spares left over from the ones originally sent, which have made a fantastic motivational tool and prizes for outstanding work.”

“Thank you for organising this competition. Our sports-mad Y6 children really enjoyed the opportunity to design a trophy and challenge each other with the packs.”

“A really popular competition, thank you so much for organising it!”

To register, simply click here or follow the link at the bottom of the page and enter your details – but hurry, we only have 2,000 packs to send out and you only have until 7 April to register your school! The competition will run throughout April and May and we’re already excited to see the entries we’ll receive. The standards have been incredibly high in previous competitions and we love to see how creative school children in England can be!

The latest Classroom Challenge was won by Jack from Year 6 at Beckwithshaw Primary School in Harrogate after he created a fantastic trophy design, being chosen from over 3,500 entries! Beckwithshaw Primary School have since been presented with a cheque for £2,000 plus some fantastic prizes for Jack during an assembly hosted virtually by Panini in the coming weeks.

Jack’s winning design from September 2020

The ESFA is delighted to be able to share these Panini resources with primary schools in England and are already looking forward to seeing the quality of the latest Classroom Challenge designs!

For further details or information, or to register your school to receive updates, please contact PaniniComp@schoolsfa.com

Register via this link:https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/classroomchallenge52021