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President Kennedy School win Kick It Out creative writing award after visit from Callum Wilson and Conor Thomas

7 May 2014

Coventry school President Kennedy pick up the group award as part of Kick It Out's 'Write To Unite' competition

Coventry school President Kennedy descended on Leyton Orient's Matchroom Stadium last month to be awarded for their prize-winning entries into Kick It Out's 'Write To Unite' competition.

Students at the school, on Rookery Lane, were visited by the Sky Blues’ Kick It Out ‘Next 20’ ambassador Callum Wilson and midfielder Conor Thomas earlier this year to promote the creative writing competition and they were singled out from the hundreds of entries throughout the country in the Group category, with pupils Bobbi Warner-Oswin, Kim Pfahler, Jack Forster, Reia Henry, Demi Leigh Armson, Shannon Tehrani picking up prizes. 

‘Write to Unite’ encouraged young people, aged 7-18, to creatively show how football can unite people regardless of their background through writing poetry, stories, songs and written features. The competition had three age categories – 7-10, 11-14 and 15-18 – with two chosen winners in each, alongside the group winner.

Entries were judged by Anthony Clavane, sports writer for the Sunday Mirror, poet and author Musa Okwonga, Keeley Baptista and Rishi Jain from Kick It Out, Arsenal and England Women’s star Jordan Nobbs, ‘Next 20’ ambassador for the campaign, who narrowed down entries to the eventual winners who were in attendance at Orient.

Prizes for the winners included notebooks and Kick It Out t-shirts.

Speaking after the event, Okwonga said: “What was great about today was the variety and the quality of the talent, and the youth of it.

“There were different categories and I felt some of the strongest work was in the 7-10 group. I’m really excited what they are going to do several years from now, because a lot of them were from ethnic minorities as well. 

“I think it’s important Kick It Out use language to engage with people because football is a sport of languages – slogans, chants, banners and all the rest of it, so to be using those techniques to push the anti-racism message is really powerful.” 

Clavane praised the high quality of entries from the children: “The standard of entries was extremely high and it was tough to pick out winners. 

“The competition is a fantastic idea and an original and fun way of getting young people to think about the problems of racism in football and the ways of combating it.” 

The winners in each category were: 

7 to 8 age category 
Lilli Mae & Ismah from Yardley Primary School, Chingford
Tristan Nair & Oliver McSwiney from St William of Perth RC Primary, Kent 

11 to 14 age category
Muhammad Ahmed from The Lammas School in Leyton,London 
Jade Barnes from St Saviour School, Manchester 

15 to 18 age category
Ryan Allison from Hampton College School, Peterborough 
Emily Hassall from Heckmondwike School, Yorkshire 

Group category 
President Kennedy School, Coventry - Bobbi Warner-Oswin, Kim Pfahler, Jack Forster, Reia Henry, Demi Leigh Armson, Shannon Tehrani 

Overall winners 
Tristan Nair & Oliver McSwiney from St William of Perth RC Primary, Kent

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