More than 100 primary school pupils took part in a literacy-themed competition with Brighton & Hove Albion’s official charity.
Teams from ten Sussex schools headed to the Amex Stadium for an education day with Albion in the Community and the final of the Albion Literacy Cup.
It was the second year in a row the charity had organised the competition, which sees pupils taking part in a range of team and individual challenges to earn for their school.
This year, challenges included pupils writing their own poems on the theme of diversity, with schools being encouraged to enter the finished poems into the national Premier League Writing Stars competition.
Fliss Gibbons, who plays for Brighton & Hove Albion’s FA Women’s Super League side, was part of the judging panel, and spent time talking to pupils and encouraging them with their work.
The left-back also helped select the winner of the individual poetry competition, Giulio Perretta, from Cottesmore St Mary Catholic Primary School in Hove.
Fliss said: "I feel privileged to be part of a club that, through AITC, does so much work in the community and it’s nice to spend some time away from the pitch and help out with that the great events the charity is putting on.
"It is always great to visit AITC’s sessions and see the fantastic work being done locally but it was particularly pleasing to see so many young people enjoying the day and putting so much effort into their academic work. It was really hard to choose a winning poem but Giulio’s stood-out.
"Congratulations to Giulio and everyone else who took part, they should all be incredibly proud of themselves and how well they did.”
Althought Cottesmore St Mary was crowned the overall winner, Rob Josephs, curriculum development officer, was keen to point out how impressed the judges had been with the attitude of everyone who took part.
He said: "Many of the pupils at our Albion Literacy Cup were reluctant readers, or perhaps struggling a little with literacy at school, but they did fantastically well.
"Our schools work uses football and the chance to visit the stadium to encourage young people to engage in their education and hopefully help them view these vital subjects slightly differently, and it was great to see so many young people enjoying literacy.
"The standard of work was very high and our congratulations go to not just the winning team from Cottesmore, but everyone who worked so hard throughout the day.”
Since the start of the new school year in September, the charity has worked with 144 schools. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.