Girls Faith and Football at St James’

Published on: 1st December 2023

football resting on grass

A new lunchtime faith and football group for girls has started at St James’ CE Primary School in Hereford.  Local SPSJ Children, Youth and Digital Lead Heather Martin lead this group.


Heather, who enjoys playing football for local champions Hereford Pegasus FC women’s squad, is also a fully qualified FA coach. She has already loaned her coaching experience to Hereford FC’s Girls’ Development Centre and Pegasus’ Under 10 boys’ team. She explained that the new lunchtime initiative perfectly combines the two things she loves to discuss: faith and football.


She explains: "The rise in popularity of women’s football thanks to the amazing Lionesses draws lots of girls to play the game.  I gained my first coaching qualification as a teenager and will be going on to study for my UEFA C Qualification early next year, so I’ve been thinking about how to offer my time and skills to help train girls at St James’ CE Primary. The idea was to combine football skills with teaching stories from the Bible.  I set about writing a short series on the book of Daniel, exploring his friendships and how his faith helped him.


I was delighted to launch the group, welcoming 15 girls earlier this term.  I already know some of those who have come along from our Messy Church group at St James’s; others have come because they know me from leading collective worship at school. 


“It is a joy to play a sport I love and talk about faith.  I hope the experience makes the teaching memorable and enjoyable for the girls, showing them you can combine faith in sport.  I’ve created four more sessions about the life of Jonah and have some more ideas in the pipeline.”


"I took some of the squad to their first tournament this week. I hope there will be many more opportunities to grow, play and learn together.”


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