The Euro dream may be over for England, but football fever came home to the Crown Oil Arena recently with a Euro inspired Kicks Tournament.

On Saturday 3rd July 2021, 38 young people formed eight teams and went head-to-head in our Euros-themed tournament as part of our Premier League Kicks programme!

The Kicks session, which runs every Saturday 5pm – 7pm on the Kick Pitch at the Crown Oil Arena, was turned into a fun and friendly tournament for boys and girls aged 8 – 13, to build on the excitement for England’s 8pm quarter final kick off.

The tournament saw the kids adopt quarter final teams: England, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Belgium, and Switzerland battle to win their age category. Following six fantastic matches for each team, Switzerland came out on top in Group A, and Belgium in Group B.

Community Coach, Emma Flynn, commented “it was a really fun tournament, and really got everyone ready for the England game. 

You could feel the excitement throughout and  as everyone was collecting their certificates and leaving there was a real buzz as we were all going home to watch the match we’d all been waiting for!”

Health and Inclusion Coordinator, Charlotte Griffiths, added “It was a great evening. It was organised chaos, but that’s what we love about Kicks. 

We didn’t ask people to register teams beforehand as there would have been a risk of teams dropping out with players isolating, and forging new friendships is what the programme is all about, so it seemed like the perfect option just to try and match them up on the day. 

We actually had fairly equally matched teams even with young people we hadn’t seen before and we had some really close games. 

The young people were in high spirits, and scoring based on fair play as well as match points really helped to ensure their enthusiasm didn’t boil over into total chaos!”.

Premier League Kicks is a programme funded by the Premier League and delivered by Rochdale AFC Community Trust across the Borough, aiming to inspire children and young people to achieve their potential and improve their well-being as well as working together to build stronger, safer and more inclusive communities. 

“It’s about more than just football – young people will make friends for life, connect with people they may never have crossed paths with, and take part in workshops and projects that will give them skills invaluable for the future” finished Charlotte. If you’d like to find out more about our Premier League Kicks programme, contact Health and Inclusion Coordinator Charlotte:

Categories: Sports