Primary School Girls Can Play Football in The School Football Team

Primary School Girls Can Play Football in The School Football Team - student project

Full Title - Primary School Girls Can Play Football in The School Football Team: Don't Let Anyone Tell You Different


  • Against the odds.
  • Chin up.
  • Don’t let the b*****ds get you down.
  • If you first don’t succeed...
  • Affirmations on mugs.
  • Keep calm, carry on.

Paragraph (or two) Description

When I was 10 years old sports at school went something like this: girls played netball and boys played football. My friend and I thought differently, we wanted to play for the school football team 11. When we asked the sports coach if we could switch our request was roundly dismissed mainly because we were girls. Unfazed by this we went out and bought our football gear thinking the coach would have no option but to allow us to play as we had the proper kit on but on the day of football practice we were told to sit on the side-lines - this impasse continued for a number of weeks. And that was the end of that – a bit of a damp squib. At aged 10 we didn't know how to progress with our activism.

But I later found out, in my adult years, that the coach's decision was wrong – in primary school a football team can be mixed (boys girls).


Primary School Girls Can Play Football in The School Football Team: Don't Let Anyone Tell You Different


The football coach divided the class into netball, football

But my friend and I wanted the real deal not netball or foosball


We asked the coach if we could be considered for the first team eleven

Our mistake number one (but how were we to know) was to ask for permission


Plan B which should have been A was to now seek forgiveness 

We secretly bought our gear which I have to say was very expensive*


So feeling guilty already: sorry, permission, don’t apologise, risk

Need to get out of the cycle of: sorry, permission, don’t apologise, risk


Clickety click went our studs as they met the granite floor

Little kids from lower years dropped their jaws in total awe


To the big match we arrived and onto the pitch we marched up proudly

But the coach looked us up and down and condemned us roundly


"To the sidelines you must go and not so much as a pip squeak!"

But lying low was not us, couldn't do mild 'n' meek and not let our mind speak.


"Psst I got your back, don't give up, all is not lost"

Giving us the key to the lock to carry on - our perfect ripostey.


Give up now, let it go, don't break into a sweat said another voice

But think of the prize, the success, the glory so not a real choice


Oh but o if we only understood the strength of the mind to overcome loss

It wasn't that we were too young / too naive but our mis-education that I want to put across (I went to a non-fee paying school so it's a case of you get what you pay for or don't pay for as in my case)


A brick wall stood before us, we felt cheated, defeated lost and bitter

Today we would’ve put the pressure on using hastag unfaircoachdecision on Twitter


I would have liked a tool kit to know to how to advance my activism

Not saying I need grounding on PR, advocacy, or journalism (not that heavy stuff)


But how to pitch, to persuade and talk to strangers (remember I was a kid and told not to talk to strangers)

So I can lay the ground for the next generation so they don't have to wait for ages (for change to take place that is).


*This bit brought back a lot of memories. We were new immigrants into United Kingdom. My mum and dad didn't have a lot of money and were busy setting up their new home for their young family. For them, education was a highly prized thing. So when I told my mum I needed to buy football gear for school physical education, she didn't hesitate and took me to a few stores. And like I said the gear was expensive - did the store assistant take advantage of mother and daughter who hardly knew a word of English? Sure I needed the football boots (my mother always asking me to wriggle my big toe to ensure a good fit)  and shin pads but as for studs, football socks, shorts and a sweatshirt I didn't really need them i could make do with old stuff that I had - I wasn't going to be playing for the Premier League. I think my mum ended forking out more money than she needed to.  And I hardly used my gear. Guilt doesn't even begin to describe it.


Old lines (not sure if the following twist sounds authentic so I left out of the main poem above)

Years later the football thing keeps calling me when I'm washing dishes and the such like

Thinking about her, the coach, yes HER... but ya know I'll let it go, its over, not gonna jibe.