IT’s not every day that schoolchildren get the chance to be taught by an England international but that’s what happened to pupils at Chandlers Ridge Primary in Middlesbrough.
Marrie Wieczorek was the first lady born in Middlesbrough to play football for her country so was the perfect person to kick-off the English Schools FA Football Week and talk about the upcoming international between the England Lionesses and Olympic champions Canada at the Riverside.
“Attitudes towards the women’s game has changed so much since I played,” she recalled during a training session for Y5 pupils.
“It was always, “shouldn’t you be in the kitchen” and “why aren’t you cooking dinner,” before, if anyone walked past while we were playing.
“I had it as a player and manager all the time when I with Middlesbrough Ladies. But now, wow. Mams, dads, grandparents, generations are taking their youngsters to games and soon the national team are back the Riverside.
“England are playing in my Middlesbrough, that is a source of immense pride to me and yes, I’ll have a tear in my eyes when the national anthems are playing.”
Nationally, it’s thought 50,000 schoolchildren will take part in football games and coaching this week and Marrie, who has been with MFC Foundation for over two decades, will be at the heart of it in Teesside.
“There are so many opportunities now, for boys and girls. They can now look to the current stars and genuinely think, “that might be me in 10-15 years’ time. The girls especially can go to the Riverside and watch England next week knowing there is a pathway.”
If you want to but tickets for England vs Olympic champions Canada follow this link https://www.mfc.co.uk/news/get-your-tickets-for-england-at-the-riverside