Talented sporting youngsters from a County Durham primary school have scored a soccer first with the Football Association.
The FA says Easington Colliery Primary School is the first to get both a boys’ and a girls’ team through to the finals of the English Schools’ Football Association Danone Nations Cup National Final.
Now, the children have their sights set on double success at the event, which will take place on May 22 at Leicester City Football Club’s King Power Stadium.
Excited staff, students and parents at the school have now thrown themselves into raising the £2,500 needed to fund the trip.
Katrina Coxon, business manager at the Whickham Street school, said it is staging lots of money-making events in school and has also set up a fundraising website page.
She said: “We are so thrilled about it. It really is a massive deal for the school.
“The FA confirmed we are the first school to have both a boys’ and girls’ team through to the finals, so it is fantastic.”
The team coaches, Gary Adey and Michael Shaw, will be among the staff accompanying the ten boys and nine girls to the competition.
More than 3,000 schools competed in the English leg of the world’s biggest football tournament for 10-12-year-olds, with the boys and girls from the Easington school both winning their regional finals.
They are now looking forward to battling it out for the chance to be crowned national champions.
Mrs Coxon said they are keen to make the event a trip of a lifetime for the young players, who will be staying together at a hotel near the ground.
She said they want to raise funds because it is a lot of money to ask parents to find in such a short time.
The business manager said: “To us, they are already champions, but we want to make this a lifelong memory, which our children will never forget.
“Any donations to help us on the road to Leicester would mean the world to our children.”
Gary Adey, PE Co-ordinator, at Easington Colliery Primary School, said they are delighted to be going through to the final and all the pupils in the school are helping with the fund-raising.
He said: “Our children are committed to activities that will raise funds to support the trip.
“We have a number of activities lined up.
“We aim to make the weekend one the children will never forget.
Mr Adey said the staff, pupils and parents are very grateful to all the supporters who have contributed so far, and lots of people have donated prizes for raffles and auctions.
Although the school is doing well with raising money, every little will help towards the event.
To make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/ECPSChampions.
Over half of the youngsters taking part in the tournament chose for the final to be at the King Power Stadium.