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Published January 20, 2022

Clifford Road Primary School will represent Ipswich Town on the road to Wembley

Children from Clifford Road Primary School will represent Ipswich Town in a prestigious national football competition the Utilita Kids Cup.  Clifford Road Primary School are now just one step away from playing at Wembley Stadium before the EFL League 1 Play-Off final after winning the local stage of the tournament.

Each season, 72 EFL Clubs run a tournament for their local schools, with the winners earning the chance to represent their Club and play in their official colours, through various national stages on the road to Wembley. The 72 winning schools are split into three divisions, in line with their Club’s league status, before being split into northern and southern groups. The winners of each of the northern and southern regional finals then qualifies to play at Wembley before their respective EFL Play-Off Final.

This year around 14,000 children aged under 11 are estimated to have taken part in the group stages of the competition.

Mike Phillips, Schools Development Manager, said: “To reach this stage the children have already won Ipswich Town’s local competition held at Portman Road and they are now a step away from a once in a lifetime experience of playing at Wembley Stadium. We had 20 local schools enter our competition, hosting 2 days with 10 teams with the top 4 from each day moving onto finals day. Of the 8 teams, Clifford Road Primary School were crowned champions and will represent Ipswich Town in the next round. We wish them the best of luck!”

Both the Utilita Kids Cup and its sister competition the Utilita Girls Cup are six-a-side competitions which are inspiring children to be active, healthy and develop a strong sense of teamwork.

The Kids and Girls Cup has engaged over 250,000 children since its inception in 2007 and has previously inspired the likes of Manchester United midfielder and Scotland international Scott McTominay and Crystal Palace midfielder Will Hughes who both represented their schools and got their first taste of Wembley success in the competition.

Ben Wright, Chief Commercial Officer of the EFL, said:

“The positive impact of EFL Clubs in their communities goes far beyond 90 minutes on the pitch and the Utilita Kids and Girls Cup is testament to that. EFL Clubs are in the heart of their communities and with 80% of people in England and Wales living within a 15-mile area of an EFL Club, they have the platform to inspire and make real positive and lasting change in society.”

Jem Maidment, Chief Marketing Officer at Utilita Energy said: “The EFL Kids and Girls Cup tournaments are one of the many ways that Utilita Energy supports British Football. Our State of Play report revealed the impact the pandemic had on football families, with 70 percent of parents saying their child’s physical and mental health had been affected without access to the game.

These two all-important schools’ tournaments will also be supported by our latest ‘Football Rebooted’ campaign, our mission to get one million pairs of good quality football boots back onto the pitch, whilst improving access for one in five families who struggle to afford all the kit needed for their children to play.”

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