Young football fans at Cholsey Primary School had a fantastic surprise on Thursday (January 28), when some of Oxford United’s top players and mascot Olly the Ox paid a visit to the school.
The football stars, including first team players midfielder John Lundstram and defender Joe Skarz, were there to hand out dozens of tickets to pupils who entered a special competition organised by club sponsor Grundon Waste Management.
Grundon Waste Management managing director, Clayton Sullivan-Webb (top left) visited Cholsey Primary School to help hand out tickets to Oxford United’s crucial FA Cup fourth round tie against Blackburn Rovers, ably assisted by first team players John Lundstram and Joe Skarz, as well as Oxford United’s mascot Olly the Ox.
Earlier this month, representatives from the company, which has its headquarters in nearby Benson, visited the school to talk to pupils about the importance of recycling and waste management as part of the school’s first ‘Recycling Week’. They also handed out goodie bags, which included activity sheets, pencils made from recycled jeans and rulers from plastic cups.
The youngsters, from years one to six, were then asked to design a poster and write about waste and recycling.
From more than 250 entries, the judges chose a series of winners, with 56 lucky children being invited, along with a parent or guardian, to attend Oxford United’s crucial Emirates FA Cup fourth round tie at the Kassam Stadium this Saturday (January 30) against Championship side and former Premier League champions Blackburn Rovers.
There, not only will they enjoy some of the best seats in the house, but a selection of the children will have the privilege of leading the players out on to the pitch. Winning posters and written entries will also be displayed at the club’s family area during and after the match, promoting the benefits of recycling.
John Lundstram and Joe Skarz (pictured centre) join in the fun and games, taking part in a recycling inspired football activity with children at Cholsey Primary School.
Headteacher, Heather Haigh, said: “The pupils were so excited to meet their footballing heroes and are thrilled at being treated as VIP guests at such an important match.
“The recycling message is something we aim to instill at an early age and to see the quality of work which was produced by all pupils of every age and ability, was incredibly heartwarming. They really engaged with the theme and showed us that if they are the decision-makers of the future, the environment will be in safe hands.”
Darryl Eales, chairman of Oxford United, has also supported the campaign, and he said: “Community partnership is key for our club, we go to great lengths to reach out to our fans of the future and what better way to do so than by supporting such a great initiative.
“We can’t wait to host the children on Saturday. It’s great that they have had such fun meeting our players and Olly the Ox and we look forward to hearing them shout louder than ever on our big day.”
Clayton Sullivan-Webb, managing director of Grundon Waste Management, said: “Talking to children while they are young about the twin messages of recycling and waste management is really important. Our goal is to help inspire a generation of waste champions who understand how they can all make a real difference to the environment and help promote those messages to family and friends.
“We were astounded at the fantastic results achieved and congratulations must go to all the pupils for their hard work and effort. We hope they have an exciting day out and we’re all keeping our fingers crossed for a great result for our favourite football team.”
League Two Oxford Utd will be hoping to emulate one of their greatest moments from 1964 when they also took on Blackburn for FA Cup glory. Then, the Oxfordshire side won 3-1, making history as the first (then) Fourth Division side to reach the quarter finals of the cup.Back to news