The Joy of Moving!

Working with our network of EFL Community Trusts we have ‘moved’ over 27,000 kids through the Kinder + Sport Move and Learn project this academic year.

Now in its second year the Kinder + Sport Move and Learn Project has had an increase in delivery hours to 243,000, and more importantly 60% more kids have been moved compared to last year. Over 450 schools have benefited from this programme, knowing that the educating children on nutrition and physical activity is vital from a young age.

By combining six weeks of practical sporting sessions with classroom sessions, the programme encourages physical activity, promotes nutritional education and builds awareness of the importance of a healthy diet and active lifestyle.moveandlearn21

Aiden Couch, Project Manager at the EFL Trust is delighted with the growth of the programme; “Since we launched our partnership with Kinder + Sport in the UK in 2013, we’ve been delighted to see our work grow significantly in scale and impact. In partnership with Ferrero we are tackling pressing issues such as inactivity, obesity and the lack of understanding about nutrition and balanced lifestyles.”

Football is used throughout the programme as a unique way to engage kids, allowing us to project the key messages across to the community. During the football season, schools and pupils are invited to their local professional football club on a match day to take penalties at the club mascot during half time… a memory that kids won’t forget too quickly! As well as that, football players from the clubs take time out to visit schools and talk to pupils about the diet of a professional athlete followed by carrying out a Q&A session.

Chris Baird, Derby County’s Captain, visited Ashgate Primary School alongside Derby defender Ryan Shotton. Baird Comments, “It’s important for any kid growing up to get the guidance from teachers and parents, but we too can have a role to play in assisting kids in making the right choices for themselves.”

Anthony Jones, Ashgate Primary School “The Kinder + Sport Move and Learn project has had huge benefits to our school and pupils, educating them on nutrition and an active lifestyle. It’s great that the kids have enjoyed the physical activity which is so important at that age, they particularly enjoyed the variety of activities on offer such as dodge-ball!  We look forward to delivering more Move and Learn to our students in the future!”

The Kinder + Sport is just another example of how the power of sport can help tackle societies issues.

From Rejection to International Honours

Joe Kenny is an England International, degree student, and a great example of how the EFL Trust Futsal programme can make a difference to people’s lives.

Joe was released by Leeds United aged 15 and in his own words ‘just mucked about at school.’ He now has 7 England Futsal caps to his name, is one of the rising stars of the game and is currently studying for a degree at Loughborough University. However, as he explains not too many years ago it appeared his life was heading in a different direction.

“I’d been with the Leeds United Academy since I was 9. At 15 I was released and it was devastating at the time.  I’m a Leeds fan and I was living the dream but it just didn’t work out.  What made things worse was that I’d just messed about a bit at school and didn’t get the grades. Basically school did not feel relevant to me. I’m into football, I love playing and sitting in the school classroom I wasn’t particularly motivated and I as a result just didn’t do that well.  So my qualifications aren’t great and my football dreams are seem like they are over and I was just left wondering what on earth do I do next.”

“Then I saw the EFL Trust Futsal and Education Programme which offered me a lifeline. It meant I could still continue to play and represent Leeds, Importantly the course would give me a qualification, a BTEC in Sport and Active Leisure, which could open up a path into further education or employment.”

“The EFL Trust Futsal programme was great for me. It’s different from school and I just felt motivated to learn. You’re studying at a professional football club, the one I’d supported since I was a toddler.  You learn using an online platform but you’ve got lots of support. Then of course you get to pull on that club shirt and represent your team against other professional clubs.  For me it opened up a path into the higher levels of Futsal, regional development squads, England Under 19’s, Under 23’s and finally into the full England Team.  If you said to the 15 year old me that I’d end up going to university, he would have laughed at you. Yet only a few years later I’m studying at a top university and I’ve represented my country.”

Mark Dick the EFL Trust, Futsal Manager, comments, “The course is ideal for people like Joe, who love sport and aren’t particularly motivated by the academic environment and as such didn’t do too well at school. By using sport as a focal point it’s provides a way to ignite a passion for learning. Many students then go onto university or straight into employment. That’s the main focus of the programme, however an ever increasing number of our students are finding their way into the regional development squads and more are likely to following Joe’s footsteps and play for the national team.”

Grecians Delight With National Finals Win

The fifth and final National Finals Day at the International Futsal Arena in Birmingham took place on Thursday with ten teams split in to two groups all playing four matches in a round robin to advance to the semi-finals.

In Group A Southampton won all four matches and only conceded 2 goals to finish top on 12 points, they were followed closely behind by Bristol City who finished on 9 points, their only loss to the Saints. Mansfield Town finished in third with 6 points while Sheffield United and Preston North End both finished on 1 point respectively.

In Group B the final placing came down to the final round of matches with Grimsby Town topping the group on 9 points having lost their only match narrowly to Sheffield United , in second place Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle both finished on 7 points but in was Exeter who had the better goal difference to book their place in the semis. In fourth place were Sheffield United on 4 points and Chelsea finished fifth on 1 point.

Down to the Semi Finals and The Grecians played the in form Southampton but City produced some great attacking futsal to win the match 3-0, in the second semi final Grimsby Town who were coming in to form at the right time on the day beat Bristol City 3-2.

In to the final and the first goal went to Exeter City with a great move finished in style, they held the lead for 10 minutes before Grimsby Town equalized with 7 minutes remaining. Three minutes from time and it was all still square until City scored with 2 minutes left on the clock. It proved to be the winner after great defending and some outstanding saves from the Grecians keeper in the last minutes of play.

Another great day of finals, thank you to all the players, coaches and referees for some great Futsal.

Lilywhites prove invincible

Another day of quality Futsal came to Birmingham International Arena today for the League 3 National Finals 2016, another 16 teams were split in to four groups and would play three group matches each before the knockout stages.

In Group A Bristol City were unbeaten winning every game by one goal to progress with 9 points, in second was Southampton who finished on 4 points the same as Blackpool but the Saints progressed by virtue of goal difference; Newport County finished fourth on 0 points.

In Group B Preston North End finished top on maximum points, convincingly winning all three game, Exeter snatches the second qualifying spot on 6 points while Norwich City finished third on 3 points and Newport County fourth on 0 points.

In Group C the other Canaries side finished unbeaten and topped the group on 9 points. In second place was another tie on points with Portmouth and Southampton finishing on 4 points respectively but it was Pompey who had the superior goal difference and progressed to the quarter finals. In fourth place were Bradford City on 0 points.

In Group D, the top spot was tied on 7 points with Scunthorpe United finishing above Grimsby Town on goal difference, in third place was Bristol City on 3 points and Hull City on 0 points.

To the quarter finals and the best 8 teams of the day would battle it out. In the first quarter final Exeter overcame Bristol, Norwich City had their revenge on Grimsby Town who until today had done the treble over the Carrow Road outfit, beating them for a place in the semis. In the bottom half of the draw Preston North End beat Southampton and Scunny beat Portsmouth.

In the semi finals Norwich City continued their good form in the finals beating Exeter City 3 – 2, The Lilywhites also remained unbeaten winning 3 – 0 against Scunthorpe to set up a great final.

The final between the best two teams of the day and it didn’t disappoint with both teams on the attack from the first whistle, it was Preston North End who scored first and it stayed 1 – 0 until for the rest of the match with a great display from their defence and keeper to keep the clean sheet.

Preston North End were Champions and fully deserved, a great day of Futsal from all the players, coaches, staff and of course the referees, well done everyone.

Posh Clinch National Final Win

The National Ladies Finals of the EFL Trust Futsal League came to a head this month with six teams from around the country travelling to the new Play Football Futsal Arena in Birmingham.

The season has taken it’s toll on some of the teams with some teams dropping out due to injuries but the teams that turned up to a wet and windy Futsal Arena were raring to go for the finals.

Of the six teams competing were League Champions and strong favourites Peterborough United Ladies who were looking to complete a league and Cup double, the team was presented with the League trophy prior to the matches today.

Three matches in each group and we were under way and The Posh got off to a great start with a 3 – 0 win over Bristol City Ladies, while in Group B another strong team Southampton Ladies clinched a 1 – 0 win over Shrewsbury Town Ladies.

In the next round of fixtures Cardiff City got the best possible start with a 4 – 1 win over The Shrews and Burton Albion also started well with a 3 – 1 win over Bristol City Ladies.

The final group matches saw Peterborough comfortably beat Burton Albion 5 – 1 while it was a tighter affair with Southampton and Cardiff City who were both in with a chance of qualifying for he final, Cardiff City came out winners with a 2 – 0 win.

To the Final between Peterborough and Cardiff and both teams started well with chances for both but it was Peterborough who scored first and by half time made it 2 – 0, a brave fight in the second half saw The Bluebirds score two goals themselves but it was after Peterborough has already added two more so too little too late as The Posh won 4 – 2 to complete the League and National Finals double.

Well done to all the teams and coaches who attended today with some great Futsal from every team, a big thank you to the venue and also the referee’s who kept the matches flowing throughout the day.