The Lindsworth Lions were invited to participate in the annual Smile Education SEN football tournament backed by the Aston Villa Foundation and hosted at Villa Park Academy. This was held on Tuesday 21st March 2022 and was dubbed from previous events to be an exciting day of fixtures.
The pupils arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed at the venue as the SMILE team were finishing setting up. They patiently waited for the arrival of some other schools before the games got underway. The pupils started strong in the 5-a-side tournament winning the first two games with ease.
There were some absolute belter goals from Jahmiyah and Aaron in the first game with 2 a piece and no goals conceded. Game two was much the same, with a solid team performance and some lovely sportsmanship shown to a much weaker team. Our players opted to let their opponents score two goals to boost their morale and self-esteem, such a beautiful show of respect which we now expect from the Lion pride. The opposition pupils were ecstatic with being able to score against us as they said we were incredible footballers, but their player staff member took full advantage and snuck in 2 extra goals to extend their 2 goal balance to 4. Our pupils took this well as we accepted an 8-4 score line with Jamie, Lucus, Tyrice and Kieron all stepping up to score.
The Lions played their next three fixtures against other teams but were stalemated into 0-0 score-lines in all three. This was not a reflection of the performances from any of the teams, particularly the lions who should have capitalised on many opportunities to score but failed to. Fortunately, overall the lions conducted themselves remarkably well against various levels of special need school. They even played a friendly at the end before coming home, against the tournament winners Solihull Academy. We came runners up on the day against a real mixture of teams; walking away with medals for everyone based on participation and a lovely “runner up” trophy to add to the Cabinet back at school.
Our captain for the tournament was Jahmiyah who did a sterling job, who led by example with behaviour and performances, but our “player of the tournament” was Khalisha for outstanding performances in and out of goal when Neyo gave up towards the end due to the heat.
The overall performance from the team, was as expected and a lovely day out offsite for them all. The manager and assistant head teacher/coach were extremely proud of the performances, especially from Keiron, Max, Tyrice, Regan and Callum who all had their first outing for the school team, they did not disappoint.
Squad on the day: Callum S, Max B-J, Tyrice R, Neyo B (GK), Aaron G, Khalisha W, Jahmiyah L-B (CAP), Jamie T, Regan D-L and Kieron Mc.
Lindsworth’s Player of the Tournament: Khalisha W