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28 March 2017

Over 550 primary school children actively participated in competition school sport and PE

From Saturday, March 11 to Friday, March 17, Gillingham Football Club Community Trust (GFFCT) teamed up with 15 Sevenoaks-based primary schools to deliver a joint sports community initiative. Over 550 local children participated in the GFCCT-led activities. 

The partnership began with Gills coaching staff supporting an inter-school football tournament in Sevenoaks. Gills staff refereed the 6-a-side tournament, which involved 13 local primary school teams all battling it out at Knole Academy. The tournament was played in great spirits, and some excellent football was displayed by the participants. Sevenoaks Primary School eventually went on to lift the trophy as tournament champions.  

The following week then saw Gills coaching staff work across four primary schools in Sevenoaks, supporting PE School Sport as part of the Gills’ partnership with the Premier League Primary Stars Programme. 

Gillingham Football Club Community Trust Head of Football and Sports Development, Simon Hodge, explained more about the week: 

"The aim of the week was to focus on supporting the inter-school football competition, and then go in and deliver high quality PE lessons to the local Sevenoaks primary schools, as part of our continued commitment to the Premier League Primary Stars Programme throughout Medway and across Kent. 

“It was excellent to support the children in a competitive football environment, and then support their development further in their school environment during PE lessons. Gills coaches were able to work with classes of children and their teachers, supporting PE throughout the entire day. The PE sessions were based on all children actively participating in fundamental body movements, specifically focusing on the areas of agility, balance, coordination, speed and teamwork. The children really enjoyed the experience; it was great to see lots of happy children participating in fun-based sports activities.”

Reflecting on the inter-school football tournament, Sevenoaks Sports Coordinator and PE Advisor Clare Strange added:

“Our end of season tournament is always a fantastic event for both pupils and parents. The small schools get to take on the big schools, and have a great morning of football. With 13 schools signing up this year, we enjoyed a beautiful spring morning watching the teams battle it out! Super team work and smashing individual skills combined in a talented selection of school teams. All individuals should be very proud to represent their school – well done to everyone! 

“Thank you to all primary staff who work very hard to make this festival successful, and thank you also to Gillingham Football Club Community Trust in supporting all the schools and the independent referring on the day.”

Looking to the future, Aaron Bailey, Head of Boys Games at Sevenoaks Prep School, said of the joint work: “Gillingham FC Community Trust have been supporting our football prevision at Sevenoaks Prep School this season, and have been very proactive with their support. [Coaches] Simon and Jay have delivered high energy, fully inclusive, football skills sessions for our pupils, both boys and girls. 

“As well as holidays camps, Simon and his team will be assisting with our pre-season preparations and we are looking forward to developing our partnership further.”

Find out more about the GFC Community Trust on Twitter via @GillsCommunity, or contact us on

The week-long event also supports the launch of our first Gillingham Soccer School at Sevenoaks Prep School on Monday, April 3 2017.  You can still book your space to join us there – find out more here. 

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