Electric Ireland has launched a story writing competition for children between the ages of seven and 11 as part of its Game Changers NI campaign in partnership with the Irish FA – and the winning entry will be turned into a book.
Game Changers NI supports girls’ and women’s football at all levels and the competition is inviting both girls and boys who are interested in football and stories to sharpen their pencils or boot up their laptops to create their very own story about girls’ football.
The winner of the Shooting for the Stars competition will have their story illustrated by a professional illustrator and turned into a book by Blackstaff Press.
Entrants (aged 7-11) should submit an original story with a girls’ football theme which is between 300 and 500 words.
The winner’s book will be distributed through the Irish FA Shooting Stars network and will be made available to schools and libraries across Northern Ireland.
There will be two runners-up prizes of a Northern Ireland kit and a Shooting for the Stars book.
Your story can be about one girl or about a whole team of game changing girls who are shooting for the stars. Just get creative and get your thoughts down on paper
The stories are set to be judged by a panel led by actor and playwright Tara Lynne O’Neill, who will be supported by illustrator Rory Jeffers as well as Gail Redmond, Women’s Football Development Officer at the Irish FA, and Clare McAllister, Northern Ireland Residential Manager with Electric Ireland.
Tara Lynne, who has written a play about women’s football called Rough Girls and is a keen supporter of the game, said: “I am genuinely excited to be involved in this wonderful project. Women’s football is a subject very close to my heart and I believe that the Electric Ireland Shooting for the Stars book will be an inspiration to many girls.
“I would encourage all parents and families of children aged between seven and 11 to support their child in getting involved in this fantastic project. To children I would say let your imagination run wild. Your story can be about one girl or about a whole team of game changing girls who are shooting for the stars. Just get creative and get your thoughts down on paper.”
Clare McAllister from Electric Ireland said: “We are thrilled to launch this competition that will result in the commissioning of a book for children.
“Our goal with our Electric Ireland Game Changers NI campaign, of which this competition is part, has always been to recognise the importance of sport at a young age and to highlight female football across all ages.
“Along with the other judges, I’m excited to read the stories we will receive and see the winning entry take shape as a book that will be shared among girls across Northern Ireland.”
The Irish FA’s Gail Redmond pointed out the association is behind a raft of programmes from grassroots to elite to encourage young girls right across the country to get involved in football.
She said: “Interest in the women’s game is growing all the time and I have no doubt the senior women’s team’s qualification for UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 following two fantastic wins against Ukraine in the play-offs over the past week will boost it further.
“This is a great time to launch this competition as part of the Electric Ireland Game Changers NI campaign to highlight the importance of sport for young girls who have an interest in football.”
The Shooting for the Stars competition is open from today (16 April) and will close on 14 May at 5pm.
For more information on the competition and how to enter please visit the Electric Ireland website