Sheffield schools playing for World Cup prize
Representatives of 16 Sheffield schools were at the draw of a football competition, the winners of which will jet off to South Africa for the World Cup.
The draw, at Hillsborough stadium, was to decide which schools go head to head to contest the prize.
The event, hosted by former Wednesday player John Pearson, saw Owls captain Darren Purse and manager Alan Irvine draw out the teams who will face each other during the tournament.
Owls chairman Lee Strafford said: “The most important thing about this competition is not the winning, losing or drawing – it’s that we bring schools and communities together through football and on behalf of the club. I am incredibly proud we have the opportunity to do this.”
Video messages from 1966 World Cup heroes Gordon Banks and Jack Charlton were shown to guests who included the Lord Mayor Coun Graham Oxley.
The Sheffield Schools Africa Cup was launched by Sheffield Wednesday in partnership with Puma, housing group Great Places, and Thomas Cook in November.
More than 60 local schools entered by submitting videos produced by pupils, explaining in no more than three minutes why Sheffield is the best city to host games for the 2018 World Cup.
The best 32 were selected by a judging panel to go through to the next stage of the competition. The eight groups drawn at the Hillsborough event, each containing four schools, will now compete against each other on the pitch at Wednesday’s Middlewood Road training ground.
And the grand final, featuring 16 schools, will be played at Hillsborough on May 5.
Reece Vice, aged 11, from Emmaus Catholic and CoE Primary School, Manor, who will be representing Ghana, said: “Everyone is really excited – we’ve all been working hard putting in extra training and we can’t wait for it to start.
“It has been great getting involved in the draw and hearing our name read out, it was like the real thing.”
Teacher Sarah Barwell, from Mundella Primary School in Norton Lees, whose kids will play in Chile’s colours, explained the competition means the world to her pupils.
“Although we have both Wednesday and United fans at Mundella, all the kids are excited about playing at the training ground, hopefully at Hillsborough, and maybe even going to South Africa.”
From The Star