Youngsters light up the football pitch

Posted on Friday 24th March 2017

The University welcomed Match of the Day and five female football teams on campus for a competition with a difference.

Young players, aged 12 to 13, from Manchester United, Bolton Wanderers, Bury, Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End competed in an ultraviolet football tournament in the University of Bolton Sports Hall.

The event formed part of the University’s UV Sports Week and is supported by the Premier League.

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England international footballer Sue Smith and Bolton Wanderers midfielder Darren Pratley joined the camera crew to film the competition for a future edition of BBC’s Match of the Day.

‘We invited five teams down and the girls that are taking part are all part of the Premier League project,’ said Premier League Girls Football Development Officer, Poppy Haslam who was involved in coordinating the event.

‘Ultraviolet football is something different and unique. It’s an experience for those taking part and takes the seriousness out of the game. It allows the girls the chance to have fun on the pitch.’

Poppy is a staff member at Bolton Wanderers Community Trust and works to deliver the Premier League Girls programme to young girls in schools and colleges all around the town.

‘We run different sessions around Bolton for girls from the age of five, with no upper age limit.

‘We have something for everyone whether they want to play competitively with Bolton Wanderers ladies or if they’re more interested in the fitness side there are smaller games.’

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The University have been hosting a week’s worth of UV events for students and staff including yoga, volleyball and touch rugby.

The Premier League supply the lighting and apparatus through the Community Trust so that the events can be run in the University's Sports Centre.

‘It’s all about encouraging people to get active,’ said Sports, Health and Physical Activity Officer, Mollie Percival.

‘It doesn’t have to be football, it can be any sport but we want to encourage people to participate and get fit.’