Cardiff City FC Foundation run many programs using sport to access education, helping to transfer sporting skills, like discipline and focus to education. The Education & Futsal Programme runs over two years and awards a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport (Performance & Excellence) , which is equivalent to three A Levels. Futsal learners will represent Cardiff City Football Club playing weekly fixtures against other professional clubs in the Bluebirds jersey.
The programme is popular, especially as it’s one of the few offering these opportunities to girls between 16-18 years old wanting to succeed in sports and education.
A great example of this is the Foundation’s female futsal team who took home the EFL Trust shield on March 30th. In their game against long-time rivals and four time winners, Peterborough United, they demonstrated the drive, skill and discipline Futsal is renowned for. The team gave it their all, scoring four goals with an amazing hatrick from Jess Thompson that made her woman of the match to the pride of her teammates.
After speaking with the players, it’s clear that an interest in football got them involved in the course. Danielle Lundrigan stated: “There is no other programme like this for girls, this is main reason I joined the course.”
When asked what it’s like to play futsal, Jess said: “Fitness on a futsal court is completely different to 11 a side, it’s a small, fast paced environment. You have less time to control the ball so it’s all down to your footwork and your skill.”
Her teammates Louisa Banaszak and Danielle agreed, they all love having the opportunity to play futsal and develop their athletic skills. The girls demonstrate a lot of team spirit, praising each other for their performance that won them the shield. They show maturity and good sportsmanship.
Danielle commented: “We show respect to each other throughout and to the coaches, and give credit to tutors and our families for their inspiration to give everything on the court and in the classroom.”
The girls are impressive and ambitious, Danielle wants to take the chance of a scholarship to play at University in America, Louisa plans to go to University whilst continuing to develop in football, while Jess plans to go down the physiotherapy route whilst still playing football.
The Foundation’s female futsal team are a testament to what can be achieved when given the opportunity, the trio were nervous and unsure whether to start the programme but they overcame that, Jess said: “It was the best decision I’ve ever made.”