Oxford High School was once again the proud host of this year’s Girls on the Ball Tournament. It was great to see these sixteen teams from fourteen different schools, both independent and state primary, battling it out through the cold winds and mud for a riotous afternoon of football and fun.
Girls on the Ball began five years ago when it was observed that all-girl sports teams, especially football, were harder to come by. As a result, GOTB was created with the aim of developing young girls in team sports and inspiring girls through an inclusive sporting competition that reached out to our entire local community.
This year, OHS Prep fielded two teams in the tournament, while the Senior School was represented by our fabulous Year Nine FA Award Leaders, who helped referee the games with great good-humour and positivity, despite the biting cold. The girls were also lucky enough to be joined by OHS’ very own Georgia Brown and fellow Oxford United Women’s teammate Amber Roberts.
“There was nothing like this around to play in when I was younger, so these events are very inspiring for the girls today and are so important for growing the game!” Amber Roberts, OUWFC
As a special treat, all the teams participating had their shirts signed by the two Oxford United players before the players and were invited to go and watch a match for free, if they showed up in their signed GOTB. Before play resumed, we managed to grab a moment with Amber Roberts to ask her opinion of why events such as GOTB are so important for young women today. She told us how, ‘There was nothing like this around when I was younger, so these events are very inspiring for the girls today and so important for growing the game!’
With the formalities completed, play resumed for the final group game before the finals, where Tetsworth and the Year 5 OHS Prep team emerged as this year’s finalists.
The final game of the day was a tense and closely-fought contest that ended with no goals for either side. The teams regrouped around the goal mouth and prepared for penalties, as the tension ramped up a notch. In the end, Tetsworth were worthy winners, clinching the game by one goal, while the OHS team took the plate. Being only Year 5, however, we hope we shall see these girls return with fire in their bellies for next year’s GOTB tournament.
In the meantime, we look forward to the Years 3 and 4 GOTB tournament forthcoming later this month, and thank every individual and team for their sterling play this time. You did your schools and the game of football proud!