EFL Kids Cup Worcester

Playing at Wembley is something that most primary school children can only dream of, but for some lucky youngsters it could become a reality through the EFL Kids Cup.

The Albion Foundation welcomed 20 Worcestershire schools to the local round of the competition, with the victors needing to win two more regional tournaments to then represent the Baggies on the pitch at half-time in the Championship Play-Off Final in May.

The day provided opportunities for Year 5 and 6 children of all abilities to express themselves on the pitch.

"Today is amazing for our pupils, particularly the ones that don't play football outside of school at the moment," said Carl Salmon, PE Sports Coordinator at St Matthias School.

The health benefits of a day playing football were clear to see, but the advantages from the day also stretched into the classroom.

"This provides the children with a motivation to come out and work really hard at school to have days like today," added Carl.

"They go back to school and are energised and want to tell their friends about what they've done.

"In their literacy a lot of them do writing about their sports and exercises as well, which is really good."

The school's involvement with the Foundation stretches back four years and the relationship has continued to strengthen.

"We've had parents come into school with letters saying how their child has never done sport but since the Foundation's involvement they've signed up for sports clubs," said Carl.

To have so many youngsters at the event pleased Worcestershire Sports Development Coach, Andy Oates.

"It's brilliant to see so many children today," he said.

"It's a great way for us to engage with participants from all different areas and reach out to the whole community."

St Clement's Primary School pupil, George McNamee was one of the footballers in attendance and didn't let the freezing temperatures cool his enthusiasm for the event.

"I've enjoyed today millions," he said.

"It's really fun, it means I get out with my mates and play football, which is basically my life."

St Barnabas were victorious on the day and advance to the next regional round later this month to keep their Wembley dreams alive.

Good luck, team!