Cardiff City FC Foundation deliver the Premier League Primary Stars programme in a number of schools across South Wales. The aim of the scheme is to change the lives of young people through the power of sport; inspiring them to engage in numeracy, literacy, and technology through lively classroom, playground and sports field lessons.

 

The perfect example of this is the progression of Penygawsi Primary School pupil Ffion. When the project was first delivered in her school Ffion had very low self-esteem and lacked confidence in her own ability. She was technically good but struggled to persist with each activity she took part in.

 

"When I first started playing football, the boys never used to pass to me, but now they pass to me and I've even scored some goals," she says.

 

 

With encouragement from our coaches, Ffion was determined to become successful, and managed to convince herself that she could complete the technical aspects of the sessions - her confidence improved with each session that she attended.

 

 

“Wednesday is my favourite day in school because we have Cardiff City in to do PE sessions. I love the after-school club the most because Liam (coach) lets us play lots of matches and I enjoy being part of a team and scoring goals," Ffion says.

 

 

By the end of the project Ffion’s confidence had reached new levels, and she was keen to start engaging in the activities in the classroom and outside on the schoolyard. She was positive and self-assured in her abilities and even became a leader in the classroom by helping or showing other pupils how to do certain tasks.

 

 

Ffion has become very optimistic and - as aforementioned - even signed up for the after-school club aspect of the programme. She attends the after-school club sessions every week and is always first on the yard offering a helping hand when setting up the sessions.

 

 

As a reward for her hard work, and for recognition of her progression, we awarded Ffion with a mascot position for our Emirates FA Cup fixture against Manchester City.

 

 

Ffion's Dad, Robert said she was "absolutely bouncing with joy" when she was told that she had been invited to be a part of the day, "she literally burst into tears with excitement."

 

 

Mr Ball - teacher at Penygawsi Primary School - said: “The coaches at Cardiff City FC Foundation are fantastic with the children by helping them with future development. They always support and encourage the children and teach them valuable life skills, this has shown massively with Ffion and she is more capable of trying new things and sticking with them even when she doesn’t succeed at the first attempt.”

 

 

The Premier League Primary Stars project has been delivered in 50 different schools and venues across South Wales, engaging with 5078 unique participants in the 1466 sessions that were delivered last year. From those participants 45.4% were female, and we also engaged with over 160 pupils with a form of disability.