The Guardian and Football School launch Young Sportswriter competition

The Guardian is teaming up with the Football School series of books to launch a Young Sportswriter of the Year competition for seven to 12-year-olds in the UK and Ireland.

The aim is to make children excited at the prospect of reading and writing about their favourite sport. Entries should consist of a piece of writing, which can be either a match report of a sporting event that has taken place or a profile piece about an athlete of their choice. The maximum is 600 words but the article can be shorter.

We have teamed up with a number of former and current footballers, authors and journalists, who will all be part of the judging panel selecting the winning entries.

There are two categories:

Seven to nine-year-olds

10 to 12-year-olds

The writer must be between seven and 12 years old on the day the piece is submitted. The article can be about football or any sport – cricket, tennis, cycling or something else entirely.

The judges’ panel will include current and former football players Eni Aluko, Per Mertesacker and Liam Rosenior, as well as Ben Lyttleton and Alex Bellos, the authors of the Football School books, and the Guardian’s Marcus Christenson, Amy Lawrence and Suzanne Wrack.

The best-selling Football School series of books teaches children about the world through football. Covering subjects including geography, maths, zoology and fashion. The books include facts, cartoons and jokes to encourage a love of reading and learning.

Christenson, the football editor of the Guardian, said: “We’re really excited to be teaming up with Football School for this competition and can’t wait to see the entries. We’re hoping it will be fun for all involved, getting the entrants a chance to write about a sport they really like. And, you never know, just maybe we’ll unearth one of the great sportswriters of the future.”

Lyttleton and Bellos said: “Sport is a great way to get children excited about reading and writing, because it is something that they are hugely passionate about. The mission behind the Football School series is to get more kids reading and to develop a curiosity about the world. We hope that this competition will inspire children to be inventive with their writing.”

To submit an entry, visit:

Terms and conditions can be found here.


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