ESFA National Finals, Sponsors and Partners

The Pokémon Primary Schools’ Cup National Finals 2023

Pokémon Primary Schools’ Cup 2022/2023 inaugural tournament culminated on the 7th June at Leicester City FC’s King Power Stadium, which saw teams from across the country compete to win in the U11 Schools’ Cup, U11 Girls’ Cup and U11 Small Schools’ Cup competitions.

The tournament gave over 50,000 players across the country the opportunity to develop their football skills, have fun with their friends and compete for a place in the national finals. We are delighted to announce the following schools as winners and runners up in each of the 3 Pokémon Primary Schools’ Cup competitions –

U11 Schools’ Cup Winner: Harpur Hill Primary School (Derbyshire)

U11 Schools’ Cup Runners Up: Victoria College Prep (Jersey)

U11 Girls’ Cup Winner: St Walburga’s Primary School (Dorset)

U11 Girls’ Cup Runners Up: Tollerton Primary School (Nottinghamshire)

U11 Small Schools’ Cup Winner: Alma Primary School (Middlesex)

U11 Small Schools’ Cup Runners Up: Lindow Community School (Cheshire)

The Pokémon Company International is the official multi-year partner for the Schools’ Cup in collaboration with the English Schools’ FA (ESFA).

This has been a memorable first tournament with the ESFA. It was great to see how the players worked together with their teammates, which is a core value at Pokémon, putting all of their energy into trying their best to progress through the competition and be crowned the national winners. Everyone who took part should be incredibly proud of themselves,” said Peter Murphy, Senior Director of Marketing at the Pokémon Company International. “Thank you to all the children, parents, schools, teachers, and coaches who made this competition such a success. We look forward to continuing to work alongside the ESFA and giving more children the opportunity to take part in the fun-packed competition for the 23/24 season.”

ESFA Chair, Stuart Botham said “I am delighted that the first season of the Pokémon Primary Schools’ Cup has been such a success and that the ESFA is able to offer such a fantastic range of U11 competitions, thanks to the support of The Pokémon Company International. This partnership is providing the ESFA with the opportunity to grow, improve and enhance each of these three National Cup competitions, meaning that the tens of thousands of children that participate each year will have the best, possible experience at every stage of the tournament. This year’s National Finals at Leicester City FC were a fantastic showcase for the talent, skill and dedication of primary schools from across the country and, on behalf of the ESFA, I would like to thank each and every team for their participation and sportsmanship this season”.

The Pokémon Company International is on a mission to delight fans through excellent products and meaningful experiences, with the hope to help make the world a better place for everyone by creating opportunities to bond and grow through shared journeys and friendly competition.

The partnership includes the U11 Schools’ Cup, U11 Girls’ Cup and U11 Small Schools’ Cup categories which provide a pathway for teams to progress through three rounds of competition. Beginning in local, District rounds, successful teams then go on to compete in County rounds, then one of four Regional Finals, which take place in the North, Midlands, South East and South West of England. The top 6 teams from each Regional Final had the opportunity to travel to the National Finals, where the National Champion of each competition category was crowned.

You can watch footage from the National Finals back via the ESFA’s YouTube Channel, ESFA TV.

Sponsors and Partners

The Panini Classroom Challenge returns this September!

The ESFA and Panini were delighted to visit Oliver from year 6 at St Gilbert’s RC Primary School in Manchester last month, to present his prizes for winning the 2022 Classroom Challenge, based on the Premier League Official Sticker Collection 2022.

The design-a-football boot competition, which ran throughout January, saw a staggering 10,000 entries from hundreds of schools across England, in what would be the most popular Classroom Challenge to date. Oliver’s design saw him win a presentation from Panini, where he was awarded with a £2,000 cheque for his school, a £50 Amazon voucher for himself, plus a football shirt of his choice.

Nick Clark, Special Project Editor for Panini UK said, “We were astounded by the number of entries received for the ‘Design a Football’ competition, the quality and hard work that pupils put into their designs was incredible. Oliver’s winning boot was wonderfully imaginative and certainly impressed our judging panel. A big well done to Oliver and the school for winning, it was an honour to visit the school and present them with their prizes.”

A New Challenge for a New School Year

September 2022 sees the 9th Panini Classroom Challenge introduced to primary schools in England with a chance for the winners to bag £2,000 for their school, plus prizes for the winning pupil, presented in school by the Panini team.

This latest challenge, celebrating Panini’s FIFA World Cup Quatar 2022Official Sticker Collection, will see participating schools receive a box of Panini goodies for their pupils, including the Classroom Challenge worksheets. The team will be asking pupils embrace a real challenge this time – designing their very own Panini sticker album cover, to secure a place in the running for the prize!

Schools can register to take part in this latest activity by clicking the link below, but hurry – there is only space for 3,000 schools to sign up!

Registered schools will receive their Panini Classroom Challenge goodies in the new school year, in early September 2022, and the competition will run from 19th September – 7th October 2022.

Don’t forget to register your school today!