A stroll in the Parc for Wongers

Five students from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Horncastle have represented Horncastle Town Under 14s girls’ football team at the Europa Cup in Paris.

The Horncastle youngsters in Paris.
The Horncastle youngsters in Paris.

Year 9 girls Maisie Farrington, Jessica Frick, Lacey Holgate, Olivia ‘Liv’ Town, and Millie Wilson-Dakin took part in the three-day tour to Paris where the team played at the iconic Parc des Princes stadium, home to French football giants Paris Saint-Germain.

The team had the chance to learn about the history of the football club before lining up in the tunnel and running onto the pitch to the sound of the Champions League anthem and taking part in a seven-a-side football tournament against teams from as far afield as Portugal and Haiti.

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Each participant was awarded with a medal in the final pitchside ceremony in front of proud

parents and spectators watching on from the stands.

Horncastle Town coach Jamie Town organised the trip and his daughter Liv also played in the tournament.

He said: “The Europa Cup is an open competition for junior teams from around the world.

“Our under 14s captain Lacey Holgate had taken part in the last tournament in Barcelona before the pandemic, and advocated for everyone to take part not only as a form of team bonding but to help raise spirits after the difficult times presented by Covid-19. It was a way of getting everyone’s spirits up again.”

The team worked hard to fundraise for the travel and accommodation costs, taking part in activities such as the Spa Trail walk with local businesses like Riddels Skip Hire and Polypipe sponsoring the team in their endeavours.

“We also received an extremely generous donation of £1,000 from a member of the community who wanted to remain anonymous,” Jamie added.

"The response we received was just incredible and we really seemed to capture the generosity and hearts of our community.

“Everyone rallied together and the team also held raffles, sold sweets, hosted bingo and quiz nights and did bake sales to raise the money.

"We knew that to succeed as a team we needed to work as hard off the pitch as we do on it, and they certainly did with their fundraising efforts.

“Throughout the tournament there were massive smiles all round. The girls worked hard and made friends – it was great for them to be able to socialise with so many different people.

"It was fantastic for them to honour their hard work by playing at such an iconic stadium.”