Engaging reluctant boys to write through the local schools football league

For over 4 years I have been the league secretary for the Urmston and District Primary School Football league. Since taking over the role, I have restructured the league so that 13 local schools complete all their fixtures which has seen a massive increase in participation and seen more children and schools playing football.

The way the league now works is that a host school welcomes two other schools and plays 3 games of 20 minutes. It has meant that schools without a pitch can still fulfill all their games which didn't previously happen due to limiting facilities of some schools. All the dates are given at the beginning of year so schools can make sure they do not clash with any other events. We also have a league cup tournament and a girls cup tournament.

As the league has been successfully running in this way for 3 seasons, I wanted to try and use it to inspire more of the reluctant boy writers to become more motivated to write.

On our school blog, I have included a page for the league which includes an updated league table. I also introduced a chart for the most man of the match awards and top goalscorer. I thought that would tempt more children to log on and check the blog more regularly. To see the page click here.

Each week, I give a child from my school team the responsibility of writing a match report on the games. It is a task they take seriously as it is something they have been directly involved in. They know it will have an audience as people are always checking the blog to see the league table. Giving the children a purpose to write has seen so many disengaged boys motivated which has seen some make great improvements in their writing levels. To read some of the match reports click here.

It has truly been an inspiring approach and through the use of Twitter some children have had feedback from some of the best football journalists in the world. My Stepson, Callum, wrote a match report for one of his school games - see here. To try and inspire him further I tweeted Henry Winter, a writer for the Telegraph, to which he tweeted back some fantastic feedback:

When I showed this Callum, he was astounded! Seeing that Henry had over half a million followers and that some may have read his report and to get that feedback from one of the best truly inspired him. He felt that this could be something he could do and has been writing reports ever since.


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