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Whittaker Moss To Represent Dale On Road To Wembley

3 February 2022

Children from Whittaker Moss Primary School will represent Rochdale AFC in the prestigious Utilita Kids Cup.

They are now just one step away from playing at Wembley Stadium before the EFL League 2 Play-Off final, after winning the local stage of the national football tournament.

Each season, 72 EFL Clubs run a tournament for their local schools, with the winners earning the chance to represent their Club and play in their official colours, through various national stages on the road to Wembley. 

The 72 winning schools are split into three divisions, in line with their Club's league status, before being split into northern and southern groups. The winners of each of the northern and southern regional finals then qualifies to play at Wembley before their respective EFL Play-Off Final.

This year around 14,000 children aged under 11 are estimated to have taken part in the group stages of the competition.

Graham Hicks, Rochdale AFC Community Trust, said: “To reach this stage the children have already won through the groups stages of our local competition held at the Soccer Factory, as well as a final on the Kick Pitch at the Crown Oil Arena and they are now a step away from a once in a lifetime experience of playing at Wembley Stadium.

“We had sixteen teams enter our local competition, with Whittaker Moss and Hopwood Primary winning their respective competitions before coming to the Crown Oil Arena for the Rochdale Final.

“Credit to Hopwood, who were narrowly edged 3-2 in a closely contested final, and I would also like to thank the Rochdale Borough School Sport Partnership for their support in coordinating the tournaments and the Rochdale AFC Sports College Students who refereed.”

Both the Utilita Kids Cup and its sister competition, the Utilita Girls Cup, are six-a-side competitions which are inspiring children to be active, healthy and develop a strong sense of teamwork. 

The Kids and Girls Cup has engaged over 250,000 children since its inception in 2007 and has previously inspired the likes of Manchester United midfielder and Scotland international Scott McTominay and Crystal Palace midfielder Will Hughes who both represented their schools and got their first taste of Wembley success in the competition. 

ROCHDALE TOURNAMENT ENTRIES

MONDAY BLUE LEAGUE: Hopwood Primary School (Champions), Littleborough, Little Heaton, St Vincent's, St Lukes, Broadfield, Alice Ingham

THURSDAY BLACK LEAGUE: Whittaker Moss (Champions), Spotland, St Edwards, Our Ladies and St Paul's, St Andrews, Smithy Bridge

CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS FINAL: Whittaker Moss 3 – Hopwood Primary 2

To find out more about the Rochdale AFC Primary School offer, please email graham.hicks@rochdaleafc.co.uk

Ben Wright, Chief Commercial Officer of the EFL, said: “The positive impact of EFL Clubs in their communities goes far beyond 90 minutes on the pitch and the Utilita Kids and Girls Cup is testament to that.

“EFL Clubs are in the heart of their communities and with 80% of people in England and Wales living within a 15-mile area of an EFL Club, they have the platform to inspire and make real positive and lasting change in society.”

Jem Maidment, Chief Marketing Officer at Utilita Energy said: “The EFL Kids and Girls Cup tournaments are one of the many ways that Utilita Energy supports British Football. Our State of Play report revealed the impact the pandemic had on football families, with 70 percent of parents saying their child’s physical and mental health had been affected without access to the game. 

“These two all-important schools tournaments will also be supported by our latest ‘Football Rebooted’ campaign, our mission to get one million pairs of good quality football boots back onto the pitch, whilst improving access for one in five families who struggle to afford all the kit needed for their children to play.” 

To find out more, visit: https://www.efl.com/utilitakidscup/  / https://football.utilita.co.uk/kids-cup


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