England footballer Kelly Smith was the guest of honour at the Northamptonshire School Games in Kettering yesterday (Tuesday, February 25).
The Arsenal star, who also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, visited participants in the county winter finals at Arena Sports Kettering.
She talked to the girls’ futsal – five-a-side indoor football – teams, saying she was pleased to be at the games and seeing everyone having fun.
“I wish that these opportunities had been around for me when I was your age,” she said. “It’s great to see the talent here today, and see the growth in futsal, and girls’ and women’s football happening now’.
Smith, England Ladies’ top goalscorer, held a question and answer session with school teams from across the county, including Wollaston School, Lodge Park Academy in Corby and Weavers Academy in Wellingborough.
The Northamptonshire Sainsburys Winter School Games are designed to build on the magic of London 2012 and to enable every school and child to participate in competitive sport, including meaningful opportunities for disabled youngsters.
The Winter Games include a dozen different events, from dodgeball to sitting volleyball and from boccia to “New Age Kurling”, and will be held mainly at Arena Sports Kettering as well as Corby International Swimming Pool, Kettering Rugby Club and Weavers Academy.