A Chester primary school has secured fourth place in the ESFA Danone Nations Cup – the England leg of the world’s biggest football tournament for 10-12 year olds.
Having triumphed earlier in the year in the county knockout rounds and the resulting North regional final, King’s Junior School competed at Stoke City FC’s stadium in the Schools’ Cup at the ESFA Danone Nations Cup National Finals on May 20.
John Spellman from King’s said: “I’m very proud of our superb U11 footballers. I’ve had the pleasure of coaching the boys for the last three years and they’ve worked so hard and played fantastically well since September 2014 to get to the Danone ESFA National Finals. It’s been an incredible experience for the team to play at a Premier League-stadium at Stoke City FC. After being crowned ESFA Cheshire and Northern champions as well as winning the Chester Schools Cup, playing in the semi-finals in a national tournament is such a fantastic achievement, which goes to show how far you can go if you work hard as a team and believe in yourself.”
PR and events manager at Danone Marie Wendling said: “Congratulations to King’s Junior School, who had a sensational tournament. They played extremely well throughout the numerous rounds and were worthy semi-finalists. The local community really got behind the team and the support paid off. I have no doubt that this is not the last we’ll see of them.”
Former Tottenham, Liverpool and England centre back John Scales, ambassador of the tournament added: “Hats off to the team for an outstanding performance at the national finals. I watched several of their games including the thrilling semi-final against Fair Oak Junior School and their performance throughout the tournament has been exemplary”.
“I am proud to have so closely supported the Danone Nations Cup for more than 10 years now. It’s a truly remarkable project that brings joy to thousands of kids nationally. Being active, eating well, having fun and working hard as part of a team are fundamental pillars of influencing the many that participate and these were all on show at this year’s finals.”
2.5m children worldwide take part in the competition each year, with 3,000 schools competing in the English leg run by the English Schools’ Football Association.
The Danone Nations Cup is a unique FIFA approved tournament, which has been given the Government’s ‘Inspired by 2012’ seal of approval. It is an annual highlight in Danone’s ongoing programme of support for healthy lifestyles through education, fun and fairplay, which includes its ‘Eat Like A Champ’ healthy eating initiative.