‘Outstanding’ young footballers lead Newcastle United Foundation’s Premier League Primary Stars celebrations

Young footballers of the future have been praised for their “outstanding” efforts representing Newcastle United at a national tournament celebrating five years of Premier League Primary Stars.

Young footballers of the future have been praised for their “outstanding” efforts representing Newcastle United at a national tournament celebrating five years of Premier League Primary Stars.

Teams of young players from North East schools connected to the Premier League Primary Stars programme delivered by Newcastle United Foundation earned their place in the National Finals of the biggest ever programme tournament.

The occasion saw hundreds of schoolchildren from across the country playing on the pitch at Vicarage Road, home of Watford FC, with Ovingham Middle School, Ponteland Primary School and Valley Gardens Middle School all pulling on the famous black and white kits of their heroes.

Valley Gardens Middle School girls kicked off their campaign in style by travelling to the tournament in the Newcastle United first team coach before facing every other Premier League team represented on the day, pulling through a dramatic penalty shootout in the semi-finals, before ultimately being beaten 1-0 by Brentford FC in the finals of the Premier League Primary Stars Girls Competition.

Ponteland Primary School entered the mixed competition and producing a stunning performance in a challenging group against the likes of Chelsea FC, Everton FC, Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC. A draw with Chelsea saw the team end a great run in the Premier League Primary Stars National Finals.

On the second day of the tournament, Girls Regional Semi-Final winners, Ovingham Middle School represented Newcastle United in the Girls National Final, competing against Bristol Rovers, West Bromwich Albion, Southampton FC and Wolves.

The girls were unbeaten in the group stages but were beat 1-0 in the semi-finals of the competition.

Adam Herczeg, Newcastle United Foundation Primary Area Coordinator, said: “Being part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme means we’re able to provide amazing opportunities for schoolchildren like travelling on the first team coach and playing in national tournaments.

“The programme allows us to create lasting change for North East schoolchildren during their day-to-day learning and with special events like this which create memories to last a lifetime.

“Every single child who represented us at the Premier League Primary Stars tournament were a credit to their schools and teachers, and a credit to themselves.

“Everyone from Newcastle United Foundation is very proud of their achievements representing us and Newcastle United.”

Wor Flags also provided spectators with flags to wave during the tournament which marks the fifth anniversary of Premier League Primary Stars.

The tournament is the first to see all Club Community Organisations (CCOs) invited to take part in the event with more than 100 CCOs joining a series of ten regional events to qualify for the National Finals.

Launched in 2017 and available to every primary school in England and Wales, Premier League Primary Stars uses the appeal of the Premier League and professional football clubs to support pupils in the classroom, the playground and on the sports field.

Premier League Primary Stars provides teachers and parents with free downloadable resources across a range of curriculum subjects at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, developed by teachers for teachers, and in collaboration with experts such as the National Literacy Trust and the PHSE Association.

Currently 105 professional football clubs from across the leagues run in-classroom Premier League Primary Stars sessions in schools. More than 58,000 teachers have signed up to access free online national curriculum-linked resources.

Richard Masters, Premier League Chief Executive, said: “We launched Premier League Primary Stars five years ago to support teachers and use the power and popularity of football to inspire children in the classroom and on the sports field.

“Clubs do fantastic work to support children’s learning and we are very proud that this national education programme now engages more than 18,500 primary schools in England and Wales.”

Schools interested in getting involved with the Premier League Primary Stars programme with Newcastle United Foundation can email alex.curran@nufc.co.uk

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