In just 18 months, the Roundhill Primary School Girls Football Club went from never having played a game before to getting through to the Premier League Primary Stars Football Tournament in Cardiff.
Getting started was tough – the girls lacked confidence and weren’t sure of all the rules. Sometimes friendship disagreements affected their playing. But coaches Gary and Rhianna from Bath City FC set them on the road to success with lunchtime training every Wednesday.
Julia MacDonald, Family Support Co-ordinator at Roundhill, said, “When I approached Bath City in March 2019, they were brilliant at helping us access a female coach, Rhianna, who is continuing to work with us this year. More than 20 girls in Key Stage 2 and 10 girls in Key Stage 1 joined in last year.”
The girls made great progress with Bath City coaches and were soon working as a teams. Lexie, one of the players, said ‘‘It was good to have Rhianna as our coach because being a girl and doing football is hard at first. It gave us a sense of belief seeing what she had achieved.”
The whole school was thrilled when the team got through to the Primary All Stars Tournament in March, and ‘absolutely gutted’ when the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown. However, Bath City FC stepped in with coaches Geoff, Sam and Rhianna hosting a Celebration Day at the Club, including a presentation by the Roundhill team on what they had achieved, a quiz, lunch and then a five-a-side game on the Bath City pitch.
Roundhill Girls’ Team is honing its skills this term, looking forward to future tournaments and keeping the connection going with Bath City FC. It also have an ambition to train at the ground with Bristol Women’s team which is using Bath as its base.
Sue Adams, Head Teacher, is proud of the girls’ sporting achievement and has noticed the difference their teamwork makes off-pitch too. “The success of the girls’ team shows how valuable the opportunity to play sport is for all our children. As well as developing their football technique, it is a chance to develop life skills such as being able to work with others and managing feelings of frustration and disappointment.”
“We are enormously grateful to the coaches and to Bath City FC for sharing their skills and support.”