Author Matt Oldfield joined 120 primary school pupils at Stamford Bridge for a special literacy event linked to the Women’s World Cup.
With the Women’s World Cup drawing close, Oldfield, who alongside brother Tom has written the Ultimate Football Heroes and Classic Football Heroes books for children aged 7 to 12, joined staff from the Chelsea Foundation for the for the annual event, as part of the ongoing Premier League Primary Stars programme.
The programme uses the strong influence of football on these youngsters to inspire their learning – an idea which Oldfield fully supports. He said: ‘Football has this amazing power to engage people and so we can use that to really engage children in the idea of reading and writing.
‘Some of those kids have an incredible knowledge of footballers and football jargon. If they can use that stuff to write stories and write better, that’s great.
‘I love to write but I also love football and when you’re looking for something to write about, it makes sense to write about something you have a passion for and you have a knowledge of.’
The pupils from four local primary schools got to hear Matt speaking first-hand about his experiences as an author, at the end of which, they all received a signed copy of one of his books.
The students also took part in a number of literacy workshops linked to football and in particular the Women’s World Cup, something Foundation schools programme manager Sam Gaskin-Kemp was delighted to focus on.
She said: ‘Chelsea have got a number of highly successful women’s players who will be representing different countries, so it was a great opportunity for us to do some work around the promotion of the Women’s World Cup.
‘Women’s football is the fastest growing sport in this country so it’s really important to promote the success of our women’s team at Chelsea and we’ve got some really good, strong players like Ji [So-Yun], Fran Kirby.
‘To use their star quality as a way to inspire reading and writing is essential to what we are trying to achieve at the Foundation within our education team.’
By Ben Case