The English Schools’ FA (ESFA) is delighted to announce that this season’s Schools’ Football Week (SFW), taking place from 3 – 7 February 2020, has encouraged football opportunities for over 22,500 school pupils across England.
Schools’ Football Week, an ESFA initiative, is a countrywide campaign, designed to highlight the huge scale of Schools’ Football in England and also an opportunity for schools, teams and clubs to showcase their talent, dedication and benefits of schools’ football using their own experiences.
The ESFA invited schools, Community Trusts and Schools’ Football Associations from across England to show their support for Schools’ Football Week and to outline any plans they have in place for the event. Over 300 schools and teams registered their activity and the impact of Schools’ Football Week has some impressive figures attached;
- We expect more than 2,704 teams (boys, girls and mixed) to be taking part in activity between 3 – 7 February
- We expect more than 22,580 school children in England to be involved in some kind of activity relating to Schools’ Football Week
ESFA data shows that schools plan to hold both intra and inter-school activities for boys and girls and over 150 schools will be holding coaching or training sessions for their pupils and players to take part in, all in the name of schools’ football. Schools also advised the ESFA they are planning to hold assemblies, integrate football into history and geography lessons as well host challenges for both pupils and teachers to take part in, such as cross-bar challenges, beat the goalie and penalty shootouts. Some schools are holding charity events and inviting pupils to wear their favourite football shirt to school for the day.
Schools and teams that registered their activity for Schools’ Football Week will all be placed into a draw to win 30 tickets for a free tour of Wembley, donated by The FA to support the Schools’ Football Week campaign.
School pupils were also invited to take part in a pupil survey, with a view to giving them a voice and the opportunity to share their thoughts on the football landscape as a whole. Over 150 school pupils filled out the online survey –
- 70% of them agreed with the current ruling that mixed football should be available for pupils up to the age of Under 18
- 65% believed that England have a good chance of winning Euro 2020 in June
- Messi came out on top as the best player in world football.
Aside from this, all of the respondents believed that they had benefitted from at least one of the ESFA’s “15 benefits of Schools’ Football”, which is a reassuring compliment for the Association and its deep rooted values. Pupils also gave their opinions on schools’ football-specific subjects, such as playing formats for various ages of the game – all of the responses will be reviewed by the ESFA as the Governing Body for Schools’ Football and taken into account when making strategic plans for forthcoming seasons. Pupils that completed the survey were given the opportunity to provide their school name and all schools whose details have been received will be in with a chance of winning a full football kit for a squad of 15 from official ESFA kit providers, Pendle.
Former Schools’ Footballers, Michael Keane (Everton and England) and Tammy Abraham (Chelsea and England) created some video content for the ESFA and talked about their own experiences within Schools’ Football and why it was so important to them. The ESFA is delighted to boast such high profile supporters of the work taken out by the Association and hopes to continue to inspire future generations of English players in their professional careers.
The ESFA will be marking the start of Schools’ Football Week on Monday 3 February with the first ever PlayStation F.C. Schools’ Cup Next Level Live event, taking place at West Bromwich Albion’s Hawthorns Stadium. In conjunction with ESFA partners, PlayStation, the event will provide the opportunity for over 300 school pupils from secondary schools across England to take part in unique careers development sessions hosted by ESFA higher education partner, University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) as well as immersive activities set up throughout the stadium highlighting the various elements of the PlayStation F.C. Schools’ Cup and featuring some PlayStation F.C. Schools’ Cup ambassadors.
Thursday 6 February will mark the Schools’ Football Week “Game On” aspect of the campaign – we will be monitoring all activity on social media that takes place on this day to get a good snapshot of Schools’ Football activity within one specific day. All schools or teams that use the hashtag #SFWGameOn on 6 February will be put into a draw to win a framed Panini sticker mock up collection, featuring their own players from their school or club team.
ESFA Chairman, Phil Harding said; “We are delighted to see the impressive figure of school children in England who will get the opportunity to partake in some degree of Schools’ Football thanks to the Schools’ Football Week campaign. The ESFA’s ethos is that of an educational establishment and it’s incredibly important to us that we are able to provide new ways to give children in England the opportunity to take part in football related activity as part of a healthy lifestyle and educational balance.”
The ESFA will be promoting Schools’ Football Week activity across all social media channels from 3 – 7 February and sharing as much content as possible received from participants.