Over in Qatar the men’s England football team are marching into the next phase of the World Cup competition. Meanwhile 19 schools and more than 180 Knowsley girls have been competing in the Sylvia Gore Cup, with dreams of winning the title in its inaugural season.
Starting in September, the competition for year 5 and 6 pupils is named in honour of local footballing legend Sylvia Gore and aims to encourage more girls to take up the game following on from the summer of success for England’s Lionesses.
The tournament is well underway with more than 100 goals scored and 2 rounds of games still to go until the final in May 2023.
Carl Rutter PE Coach at St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School said: “The girls love it and are constantly asking when the next round of fixtures are to be played. It has also had a positive influence on the number of girls in our school who are looking into playing football on a regular basis and as a result we have recently started a girls football club at lunch time where the numbers participating just seems to increase week after week.”
Holly, a pupil at St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School who has been taking part in the tournament said: “We all liked the fact that the tournament was named after a famous woman footballer which we didn’t know about until now.”
Nina, at the same school said: “It was good that we all enjoyed this together, as a team we were all working together with no arguing. If we won a game, it didn’t matter who scored the goals as we were all happy to be playing.”
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Knowsley Council said: “It’s fantastic that Sylvia Gore’s legacy is being celebrated in this way. We’re very proud of Sylvia’s contribution to football and equally proud of local girls’ football teams for taking part in this very special and important competition. Knowsley already has a strong footballing heritage and I’m sure among these young players will be future Jill Scotts or Leah Williamsons.”
“It’s been a fantastic season so far and you can see the hunger in these teams to win. I look forward to seeing how the tournament progresses in the new year, leading us to the final in May 2023.”
The competition may be underway, but organisers still encourage schools to sign up now and book their place. Schools can do this by visiting www.knowsleyssp.com.
About Sylvia Gore
Sylvia Gore was born in Prescot and was an incredible footballing talent at a time when girls were not permitted to play on FA pitches. Despite the challenges she faced, Sylvia went on play all over the world with the England women’s national side and was the first woman to score for England in their first ever match, which was played against Scotland in 1972.She then went on to coach Wales’ national women’s team. Her sheer determination and talent helped to advance the acceptance and recognition of girl’s and women’s football and her contribution cannot be underestimated. Sylvia was recently posthumously awarded her England Cap – alongside her team-mates – honouring her role in history as one of the very first Lionesses.
The competition is being run by Knowsley Council, Knowsley School Sports Partnership and Volair with the support of the and Sylvia’s family. Knowsley School Sport Partnership is one of 150 national FA Girls Football Partnerships (FAGFSP) that aims to support and develop the delivery of girls’ football in schools and is working to ensure every girl has equal access to football in schools by 2024.
- Prescot Primary, Prescot
- Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Cronton
- Whiston Willis Primary Academy, Whiston
- Saint John Fisher Catholic Primary School, Prescot
- Halsnead Primary School, Prescot
- Cronton Church of England Primary School
- Millbrook Community Primary School, Kirkby
- St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Primary School, Halewood
- Halewood C Of E Primary School, HalewoodE
- Blacklow Brow Primary School, Huyton
- Plantation Primary and Nursery School, Halewood
- St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Huyton
- St Joseph’s R C Primary School, Huyton
- St Marks Catholic Primary School, Halewood
- Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Halewood
- Malvern Primary School, Huyton
- St Gabriel’s C of E Primary, Huyton
- Park View Academy, Huyton
- Roby Park Primary and Nursery School, Huyton