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Burnley FC Women’s Team visit Local Primary Schools for International Women’s Day

On Wednesday 28th February, Mikayla Wildgoose, Naomi Hartley, and Paris Dalton from Burnley FC Women’s Team paid a special visit to three of our local primary schools ahead of International Women’s Day.

The event aimed to inspire the young minds of children, currently part of BFCitC’s Premier League Primary Stars programme at Padiham Primary School, St Leonards Primary School, and St John the Baptist RC Primary School and highlight the significance of gender equality in sports.

The players spent the day sharing their incredible journeys and emphasising the resilience and determination it takes to succeed in the world of women’s football. The visit aimed to showcase the importance of role models and provide the students with tangible examples of strong, successful women in sports.

The day kicked off with an interactive assembly where the players discussed their personal experiences, challenges, and triumphs. Mikayla spoke about the importance of teamwork and the dedication required to excel in football. Paris shared her passion for the sport and the joy it brings to overcome obstacles. Having spent time abroad on a scholarship program in America, Paris is now pursuing a master’s degree while playing football.

Naomi Hartley, who grew up in Burnley, is a seasoned professional who has played for teams including Burnley, Liverpool, and Manchester United. She emphasised the power of perseverance and encouraged the students to pursue their dreams fearlessly.

After the assembly, the students had the opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with the players. The questions ranged from the challenges they faced as female athletes to their most memorable career moments.

Padiham Primary School teacher, Miss McKenna, expressed her thanks for the visit, stating, “The children thoroughly enjoyed their visit from Burnley FC Women yesterday; their eyes lit up when the players walked into the assembly, and there were audible gasps when they announced that they were professional football players.

Shortly after the assembly, our girls’ football team came back inside red-faced and full of energy – excited to share their experience of playing alongside professional players. One particularly potent moment for me was when I was outside refereeing the football game at playtime, during which several girls who may not usually play football were enthusiastically engaging in tackles and chasing the ball down with real determination!

Thank you, Burnley FC Women, for inspiring some of our young children.”

One of the Year 6 pupils, Ella, from Padiham Primary School told us:

“It was a great surprise to meet the players, and it’s made me happy. They spoke about how important it is to keep believing in your dreams and working hard. The assembly was amazing.”

Mikayla told us: “It was a very enjoyable morning sharing my experiences with the kids. Equality is massively important and I think it’s good that we can help to teach them that from a young age. It would be brilliant to see some of them at Turf Moor when we take on Liverpool Feds in April – the more the merrier!”

Burnley FC in the Community would like to say a huge thank you to Burnley FC Women for being part of this fantastic day and helping us to make memories for our local children that they will never forget.