Shooting for the Stars Book – The Dancing Footballer

Earlier this year we launched our Shooting for the Stars book competition, as part of our ongoing Game Changers NI campaign, whereby we invited those aged 7-11 across Northern Ireland to submit a short story about female football.

The winning story, The Dancing Footballer, was written by nine-year-old Sarah Dickson from Carrick Primary, Lurgan. 

Sarah’s story about Avery, a girl who danced her way to footballing success, was illustrated by professional illustrator Fru Czech and published as a book in association with Blackstaff press. 
Watch the moment when Northern Ireland Senior Ladies Captain Marissa Callaghan and teammates Toni-Leigh Finnegan and Abbie Magee made a visit to Sarah’s school, to read to Sarah’s class.

Two runners up, Lucas McMaster (Story: Abbie’s Qualification) and Heidi Curran  (Story: A Girl With Goals), were also awarded a Northern Ireland kit and a copy of the published book for their submission efforts.

Clare McAllister, Northern Ireland Residential Manager Electric Ireland, said of judging the competition: “Myself and my fellow judges were really impressed by the quality and the creativity shown the by entrants to the competition.  Sarah’s story stood out for the imagination it showed; she was able to take the theme of girls’ football and weave a story that kept the reader interested from beginning to end.  In doing so, Sarah is helping to bring girls’ football to a new audience and that is really important to our Electric Ireland Game Changers campaign”.

The inspiring story of Avery’s determination, equality and inclusivity will now be shared across the IFA Shooting Star network and distributed across local Northern Ireland libraries as part of our ongoing Game Changers NI campaign. 

Download Avery, The Dancing Footballer colouring sheet, for your Shooting Stars to colour in at home.

Game Changers NI is a campaign, in partnership with the Irish FA, to support girls’ and women’s football at all levels across Northern Ireland. Follow the conversation online via #GameChangersNI