Is there a better way for Wootton Park School to end their 2017 – 2018 academic year than with a visit from a Lioness? Well, we can’t think of one and that is exactly why England defender, Laura Bassett and the Mintridge team made their way to Northampton on Thursday 19th July to deliver a Gold Football Programme.
Laura kick started the day with her extremely powerful story to the Year 7 & 8 girls in a morning assembly. Laura explained of the relentless work that she put in behind the scenes in order to reach the very top. Laura was constantly reminding the students that success is not a straight line and while she spoke of the absolute highs of her career, she spent a lot of time discussing the low periods as well. The importance of knowing your own personality as well as your team mates is integral and Laura gave great examples of how the Lionesses manage this.
One powerful message came on the screen that Laura hopes the girls will take into their daily lives:
“We embrace what others fear, it’s what we do!”
Laura has achieved 63 caps for her country, of which one was with her for the day. This was passed around the room alongside one of her most cherished medals, a world cup bronze. During this time, she opened the floor to questions which included:
“Have you ever felt like giving up football?”
“What do you do outside of football?”
“How did you get into the sport?”
The sun was shining and the girls were absolutely buzzing and therefore there was only one thing left to do, and that was to get on that football pitch!
The U12 and U13 football girls’ squads were the lucky ones that were out on the pitch first, followed by the U12 and U13 boys. Finally, before lunch, a selected group of girls were chosen to attend a coaching session as part of a reward. Laura tailored each of the three sessions according to the ability levels and everyone loved the fact that they were playing alongside such a brilliant role model that has competed on some of the world’s biggest stages in front of thousands of fans.
At the end of each coaching session, there was always time for a competitive element which was a highlight for many before time even more questions:
“How do you think Manchester United getting a women’s team will help the game?”
“Messi or Ronaldo?”
“Who do you support?”
Autographs, medals and keyrings were all up for grabs at the end of the sessions as well as an opportunity for plenty of photo opportunities. We have to say, Wootton pupils have a strong selfie game in addition to some killer dance moves, we think you will have to teach the Mintridge team some for another occasion.
After lunch, Laura was overjoyed to deliver two separate talks to Early Years and Year One about her career. Some fantastic questions had been prepared about goals, kicking, favourite teams and players and when students found out that Laura had met the one and only David Beckham there were some very impressed children (and adults…) in the room! Once again, Laura kindly passed her medal and England cap around the room which was a wonderful opportunity and a cherished memory for everyone as they held them and maybe even tried them on.
As part of our gold programme, two girls from Year 7 and 8 have been selected to be mentored by Laura for the following six months, meaning that they will get remote access to a sporting superstar via Playwaze and Skype to help them progress on their own sporting pathways. Laura’s insight will be a huge benefit to them as well as the amazing opportunity to watch a live match with her as well. Wow! We look forward to watching the students progress over the next six months and their meet and greet session was the perfect way to finish a perfect day as they were presented their mentee gift bags!
If you would like to see the video from our programme, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xaRDzk1lBM&feature=youtu.be
Thank you very much to the Miss Reynolds and the Wootton Park staff for your hospitality throughout the day, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in a fantastic school.