Derby County mascot Ewie cheered on hundreds of primary pupils who took part in a girls’ football festival organised by Erewash School Sport Partnership.
Schools attending included Cloudside Junior, Risley, Dovedale Primary, Granby Junior, Draycott Primary, Longmoor, Cotmanhay Junior and Ashbrook Junior.
The event took place at Friesland School in Sandiacre and was supported by sports leaders from Friesland.
Girls took part in sessions centred on fitness, dribbling, shooting, rebound, benchball and ball tag and the focus was on increasing confidence, motivation, self-esteem and players were encouraged to try new techniques.
Pupils had a go at running, kicking, striking and jumping and worked on their agility, balance, co-ordination and speed. There were also fun games on offer and girls played futsal indoors.
Each group was visited by Derby County Mascot Ewie and members of Derby County Community Trust and the event was also attended by Lauren Duarte-Mellor, football development officer for Derbyshire FA.
She said: “This is a fantastic event and we are hoping that girls here might want to continue playing football and perhaps attend one of their local Wildcats football sessions.”
Rhian Lilley, strategic director of Erewash School Sport Partnership, said she hoped that girls would leave the football festival feeling inspired.
She said: “We had more girls than ever attend our football festival this year and we hope that this gives them a taste of what they could be doing if they wanted to continue playing. There are lots of opportunities out there for girls and we would encourage them to go along to a session in their community. It was great to see Ewie here and we’d like to thank Derby County Community Trust for bringing her along and we’d also like to say thank you to the fantastic sports leaders from Friesland School for supporting this event which has become a firm favourite in our calendar.”
Long Eaton United’s Wildcats Football Programme is for girls aged 7-11, all abilities welcome. The sessions take place every Saturday morning in Grange Park, Long Eaton, from 9.15am to 10am. The first session is free, to book a child’s place, contact [email protected]
Long Eaton United also hold sessions for 4-6-year-old boys and girls every Saturday morning from 9.15am to 10am. These sessions are delivered by FA qualified coaches in a fun and friendly environment. Cost is £3 per session.

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