With PlayStation Schools’ Cup launching back in 2013, HPS Jardine takes pride in our lead role evolving what is now the biggest grassroots football competition in the country.
Now in its fifth season, how do you keep things fresh for a project that has collected a UK Sponsorship Award along the way? Marking a first for this grassroots initiative, we introduced National Schools’ Football Week, staged in association with the PlayStation Schools’ Cup.
Marking a celebration of schools’ football, this new creative tapped into the popularity of football to inspire pupils both on and off the pitch. Taking place from 5-9 February 2018, hundreds of schools from up and down the country backed the campaign by hosting their own events, ranging from a World Cup House tournament, a crossbar challenge and a penalty competition, to some brave teachers from Nottingham even challenging their six form pupils to an exhibition match. We were equally impressed when one sports teacher managed to recruit a former pupil, now playing for Port Vale Football Club, to make a surprise return to their school.
Back in 2014 and 2015, twin brothers Ryan and Steven Sessegnon won the PlayStation Schools’ Cup with Coombe Boys’ School. Since then they have gone on to start an impressive career with Fulham FC and England’s youth set-up. In 2017, playing for England, Ryan won the European Championship with the U19s and Steven won the World Cup with the U17s. The brothers were the perfect inspiration to fly the flag for National Schools’ Football Week, with media invited to join them for their trip down memory lane when they went back to Coombe Boys’ School. A video mapping the brother’s playground-to-pro journey is available to view here.
Later that week, it was the turn of Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen and Spurs Ladies star Renée Hector to support National Schools’ Football Week, when they visited The John Warner School in Hertfordshire. Spurs were so impressed with what National Schools’ Football Week was trying to achieve, they sent their social media team to the event to run a series of Instagram Stories and posted a story on the club website. Not bad, given PlayStation are not an official partner of Spurs.
It was not just football clubs that were backing the campaign. Throughout the week, leading names from football gave their thumbs up emoji in support of National Schools’ Football Week, with Peter Crouch, Steph Houghton, James Milner, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jack Butland, Callum Wilson, Tom Davies and ITV’s Clive Tyldesley lending their support through their own channels.
With National Schools’ Football Week scoring high with the schools, pupils and media alike, maybe now is a good time to try to add another award to the PlayStation Schools’ Cup trophy cabinet.
For more information about PlayStation Schools’ Cup, this very well edited video provides everything you need to know…