Hucknall schools on the ball for Nottinghamshire girls football tournament

Players from Flying High Academy and Hillside Primary & Nursery School were among 130 young girls taking part in a football tournament at the Forest Sports Zone.
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As well as the two Hucknall schools, teams from Stanstead Nursery & Primary School in Rise Park and Hawthorne Primary & Nursery School in Bestwood Village also competed on the day.

Organised by Nottingham Forest Community Trust and The Flying High Partnership, the emphasis of the tournament was for school children to have fun playing as many different teams as possible and to gain valuable playing experience.

There was also a surprise visit by pro-footballer Naomi Powell of Nottingham Forest WFC who was able to meet and speak to the teams taking part.

The Hucknall Flying High Academy team at the event with Nottingham Forest player Naomi Powell. Photo: Lou BrimbleThe Hucknall Flying High Academy team at the event with Nottingham Forest player Naomi Powell. Photo: Lou Brimble
The Hucknall Flying High Academy team at the event with Nottingham Forest player Naomi Powell. Photo: Lou Brimble

Declan Barker head of community Nottingham Forest Community Trust, said, “The trust is committed to developing all forms of the girls’ game across the city and county, and events like this enables players to build on their skills and confidence whilst having fun.”

Olivia, a year six pupil at Hillside Primary, was one of the girls who took part.

She said: “I have enjoyed the tournament and the rest of my team has too.

"We scored a couple of goals but also lost a couple of matches.

"Before today we have been able to play matches against other teams, but this has been different because we have played a lot of shorter games.

"I play in goal or on the wing and this is the biggest tournament I have ever played in.

"I play at school and go to football training, and I would encourage other girls to have a go and see if they like it too.”

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Naomi Powell spent time with the teams answering questions and encouraging the children.

She said: “I wanted to come here today and speak to the teams because I think it is important for girls in football to have role models.

"I didn’t have a female role model in football to follow when I was younger and felt it was important for me to come here, to meet the teams so they can see where the sport can take you – and so they can ask me questions.

“I have loved sharing my experience with the teams. I hope to grow the women’s game and find there is so much potential in the UK for women’s football to become really big.

"I hope the children today keep playing and learn to overcome any setbacks, developing resilience to move on in their game.

"So much can be gained from participating in sports.”

Nicola Robinson, a parent of a child from the Hawthorne Primary & Nursery School in Bestwood Village, commented: “I think because of lockdown, and because they go to senior school next year, this event gives them all a really good chance to play football and gain some experience.

"I think the event will encourage them to continue playing football.”

Abi Moody, engagement and communications manager at The Flying high Partnership, said: “It was great to bring our schools together again, especially after two challenging years.

"We wanted to hold an event for our children where we could connect and allow our children to have fun and this event did exactly that.”