From Thornford Primary to King Power Stadium!

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A team of pupils from Thornford Primary School is celebrating after making it to the national finals of the Pokemon Primary School’s Cup!

The Thornford team were made up of Louis (goal keeper), Isaac (captain), Lenny, Zac, Billy, Jaxson, Reuben, Zac WT, Ruben and Benji.

The Year 6 pupils from Thornford began their journey to the King Power Stadium by winning the North Dorset Small Schools tournament in January. This meant they represented Dorset in the south west Regionals. Impressively, it’s the second year running the village primary has reached this stage. They finished top of their group to advance to the semi-finals, which they won in a penalty shoot-out. Ultimately the team narrowly lost a closely-contested final, but were thrilled to discover that the top two schools from the south west would progress to national finals.
Thornford teacher Sarah Gibbs, says, ‘The boys were incredibly excited about the trip to Leicester, and the commitment from the parents was amazing. The pupils travelled the night before – one family even cut their holiday short to ensure their son wouldn’t miss the match!’

National finals
Competing against the top eight teams from across the country, Thornford achieved a highly respectable 5th place in the national finals. Even more remarkable considering that Thornford Primary, a small rural school in North Dorset, has fewer than 65 pupils in Years 5 and 6 – less than half the maximum allowed for small schools.
Sarah continues, ‘The day will be a lasting memory for the boys. The camaraderie they developed is exceptional, and they have all grown into enthusiastic and skilled young sportsmen.’
Jerry Ridout, who has voluntarily coached the school’s football team for the past eight years, played a pivotal role in their success. His youngest son left the school last year, but Jerry agreed to stay for one more year to coach the team. He says, ‘The boys are a credit to the school and their families. They have worked incredibly hard, and each one of them has contributed to the team’s success. It has been an absolute pleasure to be part of this journey, which I hope they will remember for years to come.’

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