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Ambitious poems are honoured by judges

24 Jun 2020

Find out which two poems have been crowned national winners of the Premier League Writing Stars competition

Two poems that celebrated ambition and hailed as "incredible" and "sophisticated" have been crowned winners of this year's Premier League Writing Stars poetry competition.

Jonathan, 10, from Engayne Primary School in London won the national Key Stage 2 prize for his poem called "Unstoppable", which focuses on a person who refuses to be denied as they pursue their goals.

Read: 'Unstoppable'

His work had an impact on this year's judging panel, which comprised Waterstone's Children's Laureate, author and illustrator Cressida Cowell, Leicester City footballer Wes Morgan and poet and author Karl Nova.

"This kid is a true poet and his language is so strong," Cowell said. "I loved the rhythm of his poem and the use of repetition.

"He was able to really capture the idea of fighting to achieve your dream, which is the essence of ambition."

Sophisticated Key Stage 1 winner 

The Key Stage 1 winner was six-year-old India from the Orchard Infant School in Surrey, who wrote a heartfelt message on not giving up.

Read: 'Ambition'

"When I read India's poem, I couldn't believe that she was only six years old," Cowell said.

"This poem is very sophisticated and hugely poetic. The way she talks about listening to your heart is very sweet."

India and Jonathan were two of the thousands of primary school children who took part in the third edition of the Writing Stars competition, which asked pupils for an original poem on the theme of ambition.

"I want to congratulate every child who took part as I've had the opportunity to read some really inspirational poetry," Morgan said.

"I feel like I could read some of these poems to my team-mates in the locker room before a game and get them inspired and motivated to give 100 per cent on the pitch."

"Ambition is a fuel"

The poems were judged on a range of criteria including creativity, vocabulary and originality.

The two national winners have been selected alongside nine regional winners across two age groups, Key Stage 1 (5-7 years) and Key Stage 2 (7-11 years). A Welsh winner and a Welsh-language winner have also been selected at Key Stage 2.

"I am really grateful to the Premier League for promoting art and poetry among young kids," said Karl Nova. "I was so impressed by the quality of the writing, choosing a winner was certainly not easy.

"The theme of ambition was a strong one and something I think should be important for younger generations.

"Ambition is like fuel. It is good for young people to be ambitious and aspire to make their dreams come true." 

The competition is supported by the National Literacy Trust and is part of the Premier League Primary Stars curriculum-linked education programme.

Visit the Primary Stars website for free downloadable activities and resources suitable for home and school learning across English, Maths, PSHE and PE.

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