Club Doncaster Foundation hosted the annual Richard Bailey Memorial Cup play on the pitch event on Wednesday, with 15 teams from schools across Doncaster and the surrounding area in attendance.
Working hard in the glorious sunshine, teams were competing to get their hands on the special trophy, a tribute to Richard Bailey, who played an integral part in the start up of the Foundation, who sadly passed away last year.
Prior to the tournament, students and teachers both took part in their own workshops, a new addition for this year. Students learnt about resilience, how to deal with set backs and problem solving in groups, while teachers endured a CPD session with Foundation coaches on the pitch.
The CPD workshop gave teachers the opportunity to gain an insight into the planning and development of a session linked to the National Curriculum, with the teachers having the role of the participants and seeing the session delivered first hand.
Speaking of the workshop activity, Physical Education Lead, Simon Wilson, of Astrea Atlas Academy said: “The CPD element pre-tournament was a fantastic idea. It was an interesting insight into how the delivery of the Club Doncaster Foundation coaches deliver sessions.
“Not only that, it gave us the opportunity to learn new ideas that we can implement into our own PE delivery within school and we also met staff members from other schools, allowing us to create new links around Doncaster.”
Following the workshops, teams were then split into two groups, to compete for a place in the final.
In addition to matches, Doncaster Rovers first team players, Luke Molyneux and Ollie Younger dropped by as a surprise visit to speak with a number of teams in attendance and give teams the opportunity to have their own team photos with professional players.
Simon Wilson, of Astrea Atlas Academy spoke also of what this tournament means to the children from his school: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our children, some of them come from difficult backgrounds, so to be able to take part in something like this is incredible.
“This is something that will live with them for a very long time.
“If it wasn’t for the packages we sign up to with the Foundation, we wouldn’t be able to take part in this tournament, one that we look forward to every single year.”
After a competitive afternoon of football, plenty of goals and impressive skills on show, the final game came down to Kirk Sandall Juniors and Norton Juniors. With an end to end game, Kirk Sandall were victorious with a 2-0 win, to claim the Richard Bailey Memorial Cup.
Nicola Moran, Sport Development Officer for schools, spoke of the success of the tournament: “An exclusive event for our partner schools, our Play on the Pitch tournament has been a great success once again.
“We want to give pupils a once in a lifetime opportunity to play on a professional football pitch and as part of our Premier League Primary Stars programme, to compete in competitive football.
“We’ve had some great feedback on the CPD workshop that we delivered for teachers, something that we will continue to implement, as we feel it really benefitted staff members who attended.
“Working in partnership with a professional football club, we can offer our schools bespoke sports provision with extra benefits that can provide valuable opportunities to students across Doncaster.”
For more information on our schools packages for the 23/24 school year, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org