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Quadruple success as Club Doncaster Foundation's annual Play on the Pitch events take place in May

19 June 2024

As the football season comes to an end each year, the Foundation’s Play on the Pitch events are in the final stages of planning, with a busy period over the course of a couple of weeks! 

Highly anticipated dates in the diary, the four events provide incredible opportunities to those who benefit from the work the Foundation does within the local community, giving individuals the chance to step foot on the Eco-Power Stadium pitch, experiencing playing football at the home of Doncaster Rovers and Doncaster RLFC.

Varsity 2024

Students from Club Doncaster Sports College took part in the annual Varsity competition, with this year’s opponents being a mix of students from both Doncaster & North Lindsey College. 

With a full scheduled day of fixtures, the Ladies Academy kicked off proceedings in the first of 3 events. They came out victorious after beating DN Colleges 7-0 to secure the trophy. 

This was closely followed by the Men's Academy team who showed an incredible performance to keep hold of the trophy for another year, after beating the DN Colleges team 8 goals to 2.

The final game of the day saw an in house fixture between the Sports College academy players, with staff and students going head to head, in order to come out on top. CDSC Blue won in a tight game which saw them win 3 goals to 2 against CDSC Red. 

Students got the chance to warm up on the stadium pitch, walk out to their own selected music and get to use the first team home and away dressing rooms, experiencing exactly what the professional teams do. 

Deputy Principal at the Sports College, Ben Thompson said: "It was a fantastic day down here at the stadium, for all involved with Varsity 2024, where we saw a showcase of some incredible talent, collaboration and teamwork.

“It’s an experience that students will never forget and a time for parents and friends to be proud of those who took to the big stage. 

“A huge thank you to our partners, DN Colleges, who arranged for their Ladies and Men's teams to come across from the Doncaster and North Lindsey campuses to make it a fantastic spectacle. We’re already looking forward to next year's event.”

Richard Bailey Memorial Cup

An exclusive event for the Foundation's partner schools sees children in Year's 5 & 6 from around Doncaster, attend the tournament in the hopes of securing the trophy for their school.

Named in memory of Richard Bailey, who played an integral part in the start of the Foundation, who sadly passed away in 2022, children are invited down to the stadium for a fun-filled day of activities and the all important football tournament.

Prior to the tournament, participants got involved in a Premier League campaigns workshop, looking at ways in which they could implement different topics and campaigns within their school. Alongside this, they also got the chance to take a look behind-the-scenes during a stadium tour with participants from other schools.

As the children engaged with their own activities, teachers in attendance, took part in their own CPD workshop, giving them the chance to network with other teachers from numerous schools, while picking up skills and tips from Foundation coaches, to take back to their school.

After a fantastic tournament and lots of skills on show, Mallard Primary School were the ones who came out on top and took home the trophy. 

Speaking of the success of the tournament, Sport Development Officer, Mason Fairclough said: "It's always a fantastic event we run, here at the stadium.

"An exclusive event for those who have signed up to one of our packages, giving them a unique opportunity to bring their children down to the stadium, engage with other schools and play on the stadium pitch.

"The CPD element gives teachers the opportunity to network with each other, something which is great for us to deliver, giving them the chance to learn from our coaches but also pick up skills and ideas from one another. 

"We've had a fantastic event once again this year, I'd like to thank all the schools who attended the event."

Premier League Kicks Tournament

An exciting day for those who attend one of our local weekly Premier League Kicks sessions, as teams were selected by Foundation coaches who regularly deliver on areas within Doncaster.

Split into two seperate age groups saw the morning tournament host the younger groups. With representation from each local Kicks hub, alongside external teams from local Club Community Organisations, the tournament got well underway. 

The two groups on the morning were playing for either the Champions League Trophy and the Europa League shield. Successfully beating a number of teams to get there, local Kicks team, Armthorpe, came out on top in the Champions League, while Kicks team Denaby/Mexborough secured the Europa League title.

Following on in the afternoon, saw the older group take to the stage in their own tournament, exclusively with local Doncaster Kicks area teams only. 

The older groups enjoyed plenty of football, but also gave their opinion in a youth voice activity on how Kicks could be improved within their local area, as well as sharing their views on why they attend the weekly sessions. 

Another fun workshop took place alongside the football in the form of a smoothie bike, where participants could have a go at making their own smoothie, blending their ingredients together by pedalling on a bike. Safe to say, there were some interesting reactions to some smoothies made!

Team Balby won the Champions League group in the afternoon while Armthorpe won the Europa League group.

One participant who was in attendance, James, spoke of how much he enjoyed the day: "It's been fantastic to get involved and come to the stadium to play on the Doncaster Rovers pitch. 

"I've been attending Kicks sessions for a while now, so getting an opportunity like this is incredible. It's great to go up against other Kicks teams too. 

"I had a great afternoon and this will go down as a great experience to treasure for life."

Fit Rovers Play on the Pitch

On what was the 5th Fit Rovers play on the pitch event, saw participants from the previous Fit Rovers Men's courses, step onto the Eco-Power Stadium pitch to battle it out in the Team Tim v Team Jan annual competition. 

An incredible game to watch, saw both teams get plenty of chances to grab some goals. Ex-Doncaster Rovers player, Jason Price was the suprise wildcard on the day, used as a power play for both teams to take advantage of, giving participants the chance to play alongside a Rovers hero! 

The entertaining game saw Team Tim take home the win with an 8-4 victory over Team Jan.

Greg Carroll, Health & Wellbeing Officer, spoke of the day: "After months of planning, it's great to see it all come together. It's fantastic to be able to give the participants this incredible experience. 

"The immediate feedback from those involved was great to hear, those that have made memories to cherish forever. We can't wait to get planning next year's event already!"

One participant that got involved, who's known as a Fit Rovers legend at the age of 85 is Bob Maddison. He said: "I'm very grateful for the opportunity to get involved and the kindness from everyone. I won't forget it for a really long time."

To learn more about the Sports College, please visit

Want to find out more about how your school can get involved in our exclusive events and how we can support you further, please contact

Interested in attending our FREE Premier League Kicks sessions in your local area, join our Facebook group: Doncaster Kicks or contact

Fancy lacing up your boots and joining Team Tim or Team Jan? Those that complete the Fit Rovers 8-week course, get the opportunity to do just that! Contact to sign up to our free course!

Quadruple success as Club Doncaster Foundation's annual Play on the Pitch events take place in May