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David's A Star

7 May 2013

U's midfielder is a popular visitor.

Up the (child friendly) U’s!

U's midfielder David Wright visited children from Orchard Barns Nursery in Stratford St Mary just before the conclusion of a dramatic league season. He was a popular guest and Lucy Elmer from the nursery tells us all about his time at the nursery. 
If anyone had told me a year ago that I’d be excited about a footballer visiting my work place, I’ve got to be honest, I probably would have laughed in their face.

A football fan I was certainly not. I supported no team, couldn’t even begin to understand those who did…football was definitely something that I could live without.

Then I met my now fiancé, a seasoned football enthusiast with a season ticket to Weston Homes, who I one day decided to join at the football because how could I mock him if I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about?

To my surprise I actually really enjoyed it, and the rest as they say is history.

Obviously, I have fantastic football skills, which any nursery child would be lucky to witness (ahem!) but one day it became clear that no longer would these satisfy the needs of the burgeoning tiny football players at my lovely kindergarten.

It was then that I decided to get in touch with Colchester United in the hopes that one of the players could come and visit our Rainbows and show them a few professional football skills, because let’s be honest, who’s better to do that?

Someone who kicks a ball and loses a shoe like me or someone who actually has a chance of scoring a goal in a league game once in a while?

E-mails were exchanged, a date was set and then we got the news that David Wright would be gracing us with his presence which of course we were all very excited about, children and staff included. I then happened to go to the Notts County game. I have one word about that one. Concussion!

Luckily David was still up for a visit to our nursery, and the very excited and somewhat hyperactive children filled my morning that day with a chorus of ‘is our footballer here yet?’

This went on all the way through their lunch and led to them practically bouncing off the walls by the time a familiar face stepped into our garden.

The children sat down in a circle ready to bombard David with questions, eagerly anticipating his arrival at the door. When he entered I couldn’t help but smile.

‘Are you actually really a proper footballer?’ One of the children asked. Oh dear!

David kindly (and with a little bit of a struggle as he is rather tall) sat down on the carpet with the children and we first asked if any of them had any questions for him.

They’re a group that are absolutely mad on football at the moment, who won’t stop talking about the beautiful game. Up shot their hands and I gave a proud smile to the preschoolers for being so confident and for wanting to use lots of questions to further their learning…

‘Do you have smelly feet?’ One of them asked.

‘I fell over and hurt my knee.’ Another added.

‘My mummy takes me to the park.’

‘I go to the beach.’

It was then up to the staff to steer conversation in the way of football, for the smelly feet question was leading to a few practical and rather aromatic demonstrations.

Bless David though, he took it all in his stride, and as a new Col U fan, I at least got to ask some of the questions that I was pretty clueless about the answers to myself.

As the children were getting more and more giggly, whether from the smelly feet discussion, or the fact that a proper footballer was in our midst we decided that it would be a good time to take them outside to learn a few ball skills.

The staff had them (and David) run a few laps to warm themselves up, and David then showed us a few of the stretches that the team do before a game, the children relishing the opportunity that they were being given to copy these.

We then decided that a kick around on the field would be a good idea, with the children tackling the footballs from David, David tackling them from the children, and the children then just running around after the man that they had decided was their new best friend.

We went on to have a penalty shoot-out after lots and lots of running, with David kindly letting the little ones get a few goals in, and many of them deciding that being in the goal with him was clearly the place to be.

Unfortunately our time on the field was cut short as we were caught in a freak thunderstorm.

The children, staff and David made our way back to the nursery, where he immediately sat down and picked up a storybook to read to his new fans, many of them sitting with him, on him, or on top of each other so that they could listen.  

Some gave him a kiss before they went home, lots said thank you and we had many happy smiles on the children’s faces that day, particularly the after school club children who David also took the time to chat to.

Thank you so much Colchester United for bringing such lovely smiles to their faces and thank you David for coming. I can honestly say that I am even more proud to be a U’s fan after meeting David Wright. Up the U’s!

Lucy Elmer, Orchard Barns Kindergarten Team Leader and Football Novice Extraordinaire. 

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