PL Primary Stars

How Premier League and Newport helped Freya play the game

25 Jun 2022

Working with Newport County gives 10-year-old confidence to fulfil dream of playing football

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As part of the Premier League celebrating five years of Premier League Primary Stars, clubs running the school programme have nominated a "Superstar" - a young person or teacher who has inspired others through their dedication to the scheme, enthusiasm and own personal development.

Freya (Newport County)

For women and girls such as 10-year-old Freya, from Newport, opportunities to play football have never been greater but having the confidence to do so can remain a barrier.

With the help of Premier League Primary Stars and Dan Harvey, School Sports coordinator at County in the Community, Freya is now playing her favourite sport with a smile on her face.

"When Dan and Newport County come in to school we do lots of fun activities. We play lots of games, practising skills and play lots of football," says Freya, a pupil at St Joseph's RC Primary School.

"I've joined a club now, we train on Fridays and play proper matches on Sundays.

"At first I felt a bit nervous and didn't really know what to do. Now I feel really joyful when I play. I've really enjoyed my progress."

As Freya's football skills have blossomed - she was recently selected to represent Newport and District Schools - so too has her personal development.

"Since she's been taking part in Premier League Primary Stars Freya's more confident, she's more active in the classroom, she speaks more and contributes to class discussions," says Year 5 teacher, Stephanie Jones.

"She has developed herself as more of a leader, not just in the sports field but in the classroom activities and the school parliament."

Dreaming big

St Joseph's are in their third year of working with Premier League Primary Stars, joining over 18,500 primary schools in England and Wales who are engaging with the programme.

"I've been delivering Premier League Primary Stars since its inception," says Harvey, "And [seen] the impact it's had across the city.

"The funding provided to us by the Premier League has been crucial to allow us to engage with thousands of young people across the Newport and wider Gwent area."

Freya is just one of those to have benefited from the programme and has impressed as a role model for other aspiring girl footballers.

"She's encouraged other girls in the classroom to go along as well," adds Jones. "Out of my girls there's now six or seven that play football with Freya on a weekend."

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Also in this series

Part 1: Premier League celebrates five years of PL Primary Stars
Part 2: William's story (Leicester City)
Part 3: Harry's story (Forest Green Rovers)
Part 4: Stephanie's story (Charlton Athletic)
Part 5: Faizan's story (Burnley)
Part 6: The Godolphin Junior Academy's story (Slough)
Part 8: Delia's story (Everton)

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