It’s not every day you get to meet a former England football captain, but pupils at Nafferton Primary School were given the privilege last week as part of a visit from Hull City Ladies FC.
Representatives of the club, which is unaffiliated to the men’s team and plays in the FA Women’s National League Division One North, were at the school last Tuesday (2nd May) running a workshop and activity day.
This involved indoor activities, such as quizzes and group tasks, as well as the opportunity to get out onto the field and follow in the footsteps of England’s Lionesses and their male counterparts.
As well as Hull City Ladies director, manager and players going along for the day, ex-England women’s captain Carol Thomas BEM also told the children her story of a life in football.
Hull-born Carol was the second captain of England women and is the most successful England women’s national team captain in terms of success at tournaments, going on to win 56 caps for her country.
Last Tuesday’s workshop was organised by Year 2 teacher Mr Saltonstall who told the Wolds Weekly he hopes the day of activities will inspire the next generation of Lionesses School.
“I know Danny Johnson, the owner of Hull City Ladies, through a family link and as soon as I found out what he did, I thought it would be good to get the club into the school as a great way of raising the profile of female football, especially following the success of the Lionesses last year,” he said.
“We already have a girls’ football team at Nafferton who performed well at a recent tournament, and we just wanted to build on that and do something a bit different.
“We already work with Hull FC for rugby league, and we have various other activities such as an archery club.
“We’ve been lucky at Nafferton over the years that we have always had quite sporty girls.
“This is an opportunity to show them that they don’t have to join the boys’ team and the girls are starting to realise they can do it on their own. “On the back of the success the girls had, Danny arranged for them to walk out as mascots with Hull City Ladies’ players at a game.
“That started a link between us and the club and once we knew that they were piloting a new programme of visiting schools, we were keen to get involved.
“We’ve had a fabulous morning, with the children taking part in activities in the hall and teaching them how to build a football club from scratch.
“It’s fantastic that the club have got someone like Carol Thomas involved. She is local and has achieved a lot during her career.
“It’s great for the children to see and something they can aspire to. Sporting heroes in this area are few and far between so for them to hear Carol’s story is brilliant.
The hope is to build on the relationship moving forward and continue promoting girls sport.” One of those taking part in the workshop was Year 4 pupil Nieve, in “We were put lots of paper and card that we could colour in and create our own football match,” said Nieve.
“We could design our own kit and stadium, but we were only given a certain amount of money, so we had to be careful how much we spent.
“I enjoy playing football and most other sports too. It was really cool to hear about how Carol played for England and to see the cap that she brought in for us.”
Report by James Richardson / Driffield & Wolds Weekly