A TALENTED female footballer from Sheffield will take inspiration from the Lionesses’ encouraging World Cup performances and recent success on the pitch for her school team as she prepares to take part in an England training camp this summer.
Ruby Clarke, a pupil at Aston Academy, in Aughton Road, will join other girls from across the country at the England girls’ football training camp, at what is an exciting time for women’s football in England.
The 13-year-old – who was spotted by England scouts whilst playing for Sheffield United - goes into the camp on the back of a thrilling win for Aston Academy’s under-13 girls’ football team in the South Yorkshire Cup.
Four goals from Ruby and five from team-mate Ella May saw Aston beat Wath Comprehensive School 9-6. The girls beat Penistone, Kirk Balk and Wales High School on the way to the final.
James Clarke, head of PE at Aston Academy, said: “We’re really proud of Ruby and all of our talented students here at Aston Academy. We’ve celebrated a great year of sport as a school.
“Female sport has dominated the back pages of newspapers this summer, with the Women’s Football World Cup and the Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool, so it’s great to see so many of our girls getting active.”
This summer’s Women’s Football World Cup has captured the hearts of many with England’s semi-final against the USA attracting the biggest TV audience of the year with 11.7 million viewers.
The Football Association appointed a brand-new board to help develop growth of the women’s game domestically, and with Sheffield set to be the host city when England stage the UEFA Euro 2021 Championships, there couldn’t be a better time to be involved in the sport.
Mr Clarke added: “These women are positive role models for our pupils and it’s encouraging to see.
“Whether it is football, netball or cricket, we’re delighted that so many more girls are taking up sport in their spare time.”
It has been a hugely successful sporting year for Aston Academy, who showcased their talented female pupils by hosting an event at school earlier this year aimed at promoting positive body image in teenagers.
They invited several youngsters from local special provision schools to take part in a variety of sports, from wheelchair basketball to yoga and dance.
In April, Aston Academy celebrated back-to-back wins on the netball court at the annual Rotherham Schools Finals. The school’s Year 9 netball team, who won the competition in 2018, retained their crown by beating Wickersley in the final.
And this summer, both the Year 7 and Year 9 teams were crowned Rotherham Cricket champions. It’s the third year in succession that the Year 9 girls have achieved this.
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