Megan Baker, or Megs as she prefers, took a very proactive approach to FA Girls’ Football Week, helping to organise a tournament that brought 100 local schoolgirls to the hallowed turfs of Great Baddow High School. As one of our Soccerella Ambassadors, we caught up with Megs to find out how it went!
As BTEC Sport students, Megs and 20 of her classmates formed a committee to organise a two-day football tournament in Chelmsford, welcoming 28 boys and girls teams from years 5 and 6. The tournament is run annually to demonstrate the values of the Chelmsford Schools Sports Partnership - to create a fun and competitive environment for the schoolchildren to enjoy their sports. Together, the students planned out the event, in terms of marketing (via posters), organising the location, creating the fixture lists, etc. For the actual event, they then divided up responsibilities amongst them.
Megs was one of the event junior leaders, and got stuck into a number of different roles – including refereeing, being a ballgirl and doing some all-important talent spotting! But it was a different task that stands out the most for Megs, as she explains. “Public speaking is one of the things I’m really scared of, but the teacher was having none of it, and told me I’d have to do it.” So Megs stood up in front of the 100 players and teachers involved and delivered the concluding speech, where she thanked them for taking part and gave awards to the winners. “It’s definitely not something I enjoy, but it was an opportunity to learn and a pretty good experience!”
The girls tournament welcomed nine 7-a-side teams and was run in a league format across four pitches. Each team played each other across two 6-minute halves, although she’s assured us this wasn’t a FIFA 16 tournament! The tournament was eventually won by Moulsham Junior School (pictured right with Megs), and after a three-player shortlist, Moulsham’s star player Jasmine was also awarded Player of the Tournament. To make victory even sweeter, She Kicks even provided a copy of their magazine for each member of the winning team! Thanks guys!
For Megs, the most rewarding part was seeing the young girls enjoying their sports and competing, and especially seeing their faces light up when they scored (“so cute!!!”). “It was important to get more girls into the sport, and boost participation. We’ve just had the Women’s World Cup and the girls are inspired by that.” The girls certainly had a fun day and Megs and her classmates received glowing feedback from the teacher-coaches.
However, the impact of the day doesn’t end with the tournament. Only one-third of the girls currently played for a club outside of school. However, when quizzed – the other two-thirds wanted to! So representatives from the Essex FA were on hand to give out leaflets to help them to get involved in their local clubs. Megs will follow up and let us know how it goes!
Well done to Megs, her colleague Charlotte and all of the players, coaches and PE students for creating a great event!
Megs is a Soccerella Ambassador, BTEC Sport student and plays with Chelmsford City Ladies. Part of a football-mad family, she took part in our initial survey and was the lucky winner of a special edition England Ladies shirt! Bursting with energy and keen to develop women’s football, it won’t be the last you hear of Megs! Find Megs on Twitter @_MegsBaker
Thanks to Anthony Nolan (@SheKicksAnth) at She Kicks for their kind contribution - the latest issue of their women's football magazine now available in the store! Player of the Tournament Jasmine also received some essential gameday prewrap, and a £20 gift certificate to spend!
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