Women’s football legend Claire Rafferty surprised students at Cokethorpe School in Oxfordshire this morning. The students had the opportunity to train with the ex-Lioness and see both the Emirates FA Cup and Adobe Women’s FA Cup trophies in real life.
The former international footballer, who also appeared 100 times for Chelsea, as well as playing for England and in the 2012 Olympics, hosted an inspirational assembly and insightful Q&A session where she shared her career experiences and advice with the budding young footballers. Claire then helped run a coaching session, offering tips and assistance to the schools’ girls’ football team.
The opportunity was made possible by a partnership between Sports Directory - one of the leading educational suppliers of sports equipment in the UK - and British football brand Mitre who ran a nationwide competition for schools to win the sought-after visit, as well as access to the famous trophies by The Football Association.
Jack Robinson, Director of Sport at Cokethorpe School said: “Today has been sensational for the girls. A once in a lifetime opportunity to be inspired by someone who has created a genuine legacy in women’s football – Claire Rafferty. Claire gave our pupils her time, wisdom, and valuable advice. I don’t think there’s a single member of our girl’s football team going home without a huge smile on their face today.”
Chris Kemp, General Manager at Sports Directory adds: “It’s great to get the chance to give back to schools and bring opportunities like this into the community. Helping to supply quality equipment for PE lessons up and down the country is a big part of what we do, and it’s brilliant to witness firsthand what a difference an opportunity like this can make to future footballing stars.”
Ian Cartwright, Senior National Account Manager from Pentland Brands finishes: “It’s been amazing to see so many pupils inspired today, getting excited about their football and the Emirates FA Cup and Adobe Women’s FA Cup. We’re passionate about all levels of football, and grassroots is where the love of the game starts for many players. We’re thrilled to have played a part in making today happen and hope that Cokethorpe goes on to offer a future Lioness!”