Schoolgirl football champs got a visit from their heroes after winning a prestigious competition.
St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School in Peterlee, representing Sunderland AFC, were crowned Premier League Schools Tournament champions in the tournament which took place at the home of Everton’s Goodison Park ground, in Liverpool.
The girls have been over the moon to meet the players as they’re a real inspiration for them.Gemma Brown
Over 14,000 young footballers from more than 1,700 schools took part in this year’s tournament, with 320 taking to the pitch as over 1,000 spectators filled the Bullens Road Stand at the famous stadium to create a vibrant atmosphere for the youngsters.
In the Under-13 final, St Bede’s defeated host team Everton’s girls side 1-0 in a very closely contested match, while SAFC’s representatives in the Under-11 mixed competition, Broadway Juniors in Sunderland, won the Fair Play award.
Almost 20 primary and secondary schools were invited to the regional qualifying competitions organised by SAFC’s offical charity the Foundation of Light, with Broadway Juniors and St Bede’s winning the opportunity to represent the Black Cats.
Now, the girls have been visited by members of the Sunderland Ladies playing squad, who presented them with the silverware.
PE teacher at the school Gemma Brown said: “The girls have been over the moon to meet the players as they’re a real inspiration for them.
“They’ve been hearing about the challenges they’ve faced and how they’ve overcome them as well.
“It’s amazing for them and the whole day has been unbelievable.
“The players spoke at an assembly and hopefully they’ve inspired a few girls who haven’t yet played football to give it a go.”
After winning the tournament final the girls met Everton and England star Leighton Baines who handed over the trophy.
“Meeting Leighton was great but playing at such a famous ground like Goodison in front of so many people was the big thing for the team,” added Miss Brown.
“Winning was just a bonus, but the girls really deserved it.
“Elle McCoy, our sports leader, also deserves credit for coaching the girls from the start and supporting them.”