All Skilled Up 2010


January, March and June 2010 saw the continued success of the All Skilled Up Project at Cardiff City Stadium. This was a partnership project with Academi, Cardiff City Football in the Community Team, LEA Education Departments, LEA Libraries and BSA Cymru.

In January and March four Caerphilly Primary Schools and Porth Comprehensive School in Rhondda Cynon Taff Schools joined the project, which continued with funding from the Football League until Spring 2012.

Over two hundred children from schools in five authorities visited the new Cardiff City Stadium for an inspiring day of football activities and creative writing opportunities. Pupils worked with either John Tripp Award Winner, Peter Read, or celebrated poet and author Mike Jenkinsto create a new football poem. They also enjoyed a treasure hunt as part of their guided tour around the grounds of the stadium and a visit from Bartley, Cardiff City’s mascot.


Newton Primary School with Peter Read


In the silence of the frozen stadium
Echoes from a lone voice spread out, bounce back.
Cold as a freezer, cold as a giant iced lolly.
Empty chairs lined up like soldiers for battle
Frosty breath spilling as blue and white sea spray.

In the silence of the frozen stadium
Ghosts of near misses come to haunt empty stands
Can you hear the moaning of the lost spirits of fans
Can you feel the whooping ghosts cheering goals and wins.

St David’s Roman Catholic School with Peter Read

The Training Match

The goalie, a dolphin without water
Diving like a Tom Daley impersonator
Tow teams battle for the fortress of a goal
The colours, watermelons versus the sea
Balls flying high and a load of vollies
Voices echo as in a swimming pool
‘What a pass’, ‘What a shot’, ‘What a miss’
‘Foul’, ‘Offside’, ‘Come on Ref, that’s a red card’
When it’s a goal, players hug like bears.
Watching the game, it’s a human chess match
Like Harry Potter characters, they have come to life
A giant table football game without handles
No plastic players, real footballers huffing, sweating, puffing
At the final whistle stumbling, limping, trudging off
Grass as green as the Heineken banner
That stands at the entrance to the ground.

Cwmffrwdoer Primary School with Peter Read

Football in the snow

Like a snow leopard pouncing for it’s prey
Or a giant snow globe shaken by the sky
The chameleon pitch turns from green to white
Training players are swallowed in a sea of snow
Players slip and slide on invisible banana skins
The freezing goalie becomes a giant human snowman
The icy chill makes hairs on the player’s legs
Stand up like soldiers or hairs on a coconut
As the wind blows, it’s icy fingers stretch up their necks
Frozen hands turn red as glowing lava
Others have fingers turning into icicles
Game off, match postponed, call in the pools panel.

Pyle Primary School with Peter Read

Pre Match

The pitch lies silently
Waiting for the players,
Their boots thundering through the tunnel
Before stamping like a herd of bulls
To the crowds screaming chants and applause.
Footballers stretch like elasticated gymnasts,
Bend like bananas, loosen up and jiggle.
Now they look like tap dancers
The ball back and forth like a hot fire ball
It ends up in the advertising hoardings
Huge as giant toblerones.
The whistle blows, time for the match to start.

Bracla Primary School with Peter Read

City Song, City Story

The stadium open as an eye
Wavy-lined chairs, blue as the ocean
Others white as the clouds
Some yellow as mustard
They open and close like a book
Recording stories of victory, failure, defeat
The tales of fans through tears and cheers
As they sing along to the Cardiff song
Hail to Cardiff, as the mighty Bluebirds fly high.

Pontnewynedd Primary School with Peter Read

Best of the Rest

White Cardiff wave flows on chairs,
Sky blue as the deepest sea.
Wind whips your face,
Coloured stripes in the grass
Look like a stick of rock.
The pitch is a giant jungle without trees,
The wavy line of chairs a vine.
Players like monkeys, fighting to survive,
Adverts, spreading shops around the ground,
Fans stuff their faces with Peter’s pies,
Brace’s bread, quite enough said.
Moss brothers want us in suits
Not in football kits or wearing trainers.
The light shines down on the pitch
Illuminating it like a stage,
Where the football actors,
Shoot, pass, dribble, trap the ball,
Head the ball, chest the ball,
Shoot and score. The sound of the crowd
Erupts like a volcano
Through the hole in the roof
Out into the open sky for everyone to hear.
Cardiff City are infinitely cool
Cardiff City are the best of the rest.

Bryn Bach Primary School with Peter Read


The pitch is so neat
You could eat cooked dinners on it.
Birds have flown in for their own cooked meal
Cold hot dogs, oily, sticky chips
Left over bread from dropped burgers.
Nothing for them today
The staff are so tidy
They’ve taken the treats away.
Birds in the centre of the pitch
Dream of the kick off, as they peck
The seed, pushing it from claw to claw.
Soon the stadium fills with fans
Chanting for the Bluebirds
‘We’ve been knocking on the door
For eighty years or more’
But now we’re flying high.

Glanhowy Primary School with Peter Read


Seats soft as cushions
Painted blue as bluebirds
They might be heading for the sea.
White, wavy-lined chairs
Flying the flag for Cardiff.
The striped pitch looks like
Flattened green zebras,
Or the colour of frogs,
Waiting for players to warm up,
Jiggle, and hop from foot to foot.
Or perhaps, it’s a big green carpet
In an open air living room
Filled with fans watching real live football,
Seeing sweat drip off players foreheads
Hearing them shout louder than the crowd
The booming thud of the kicked football.

Tondu Primary School with Peter Read

The Dream

Running like the wind
Ball at my feet
Faster than Ledley
Panting like a dog
Drumming in my ears
Drowning out the sound of fans
Screaming, shouting instructions to the team
Doing the Mexican wave
In tune, the ball surfs along
As I crash into the box
Lob the goalie, make the net ripple
The crowd scream with joy.
‘there’s only one Natalie Foxall’.

Hoel Ddu Bargoed with Peter Read

The Empty Stadium

A sea of seats,
Crowds roar like waves.

The stadium as exciting as roller coasters
That never stops but goes on and on.

In the dug out I sit
Where the manager sits,
Feel as important as a V.I.P.

Light, bright as the sun
Glares down at the spongey grass,
Adverts shaped like hardboard tents
Sell themselves, try to make money.

Dug out Dream

Dreaming in the dug outs
I’m in charge,
Controlling the battle
Of the players.
Bluebirds fly high
Swallow Everton’s toffees
Smash the Hammers of West Ham.
I rant and rave:
‘Pass the ball,
Down the line,
Tackle him, close him down,
Offside referee.
Shoot. Oh what a miss!’
I’m shattered, exhausted.
The crowd start to boo.
It’s time to send on Corey,
Ask him to score and sort it out.

St James Primary School with Peter Read

Cardiff City

White and blue chairs set in patterns
Like the sky with fluffy clouds.
At night dark and hard as Winter.
In the daylight blue as teenie weenie smarties.
Steps and some chairs, yellow as daffodils in the sun.

Grass, green as an emerald ocean
Striped like a green jumper.
The dug out clear as a see through cup.
It might be small, but we still see the ball.

Adverts for Coca Cola
Spill around the ground like colours of the rainbow.
Come Saturday, the empty stadium will be jampacked.
Chopra’s got the ball, he’s on his way to score.
The crowd is going wild, they begin to roar,
He passes one, he passes two, he shoots, he scores.

Abercerdin with Mike Jenkins

The Stadium’s Life

I am a toddler
Haven’t long been born
My heart’s beating for Cardiff to win.

I feel like a cheetah
When we are winning,
I’ve seen winning and losing
But my spirit never goes.

But I am an angry lion
When I am losing.

I chant like a roar of thunder
When the match is starting
Or when a goal’s scored.

My colours are blue and white
Plastic blue seats like waves in the sea
And the white ones as white as a cloud
I would cheer for Cardiff with the crowd

My future so bright
Winning trophies and having new players.

Nantyffyllon with Mike Jenkins

I am Cardiff City Stadium

I am young as a baby
And as big as a whale.

I am white and blue
White as the stands, blue as the sea.

I am a Bluebird fan
I hear shouting and cheering.

I am sometimes dirty as a dump,
I am a winner and a loser.

I shout ‘C’mon the City’
And hear lots of music.

I am round as the world
And my future is BLUE!

Mendy Primary with Peter Read

Pitch like a giant green table
Slippery sauces sliding on the ground
JCBs, like man eating monsters
Loud as a Ferrari roar
No play today, players on holiday
Couldn’t play on this ripped up disaster
The smell of soil in the atmosphere
As machines uncover muddy muck,
They throw away the sleepy grass
Damp as sewers, smelly as seaweed
The pitch looks like a rubbish tip
Grass as tired as exhausted players.
Soon it will be relaid, soft juicy grass
A large blanket shining green as the Asda sign.

Pontymoel Primary with Peter Read

The Imagined Match

Rooney shoots, the baby saves,
The ball zooms from cannons
Ants catch it, chairs tackle the giant screen,
Crab shoots, the fish saves a goal.
The Queen arrives to watch the game
But the pitch has turned into a farm.
What a nasty trick by the naughty squid.
Surrounded by the imaginary crowd.
Fans scream as if it’s the end of the world,
Football boots rip up the grass
Like a cat scratching with nails.
Friends shout, loud as tractors roaring by
Managers fight like cats and dogs
People waving banners as if they’ve won a million pounds
Beckham scores but the Ref’s already sent him off.
Crowd jumps with ants in their pants
White seats as bright as the sun
Blue seats as light as the sky.
The pitch is silent and quiet, all the people gone.

St Illtyd’s Primary with Peter Read

Re laying the Pitch

White seats spell Cardiff City
Patterns made from different colours
Twenty seven thousand, empty as a glass without water.
Lights waiting to illuminate the colossal stadium.
No fans, only the tractor FIFA World Cup
Red JCB s versus yellow JCBs
Dance across the muddy green grass
Tearing up the pitch as they move along.
Heavy, ground shaking movements
Sounds like mechanical coughing,
Choking on grass, ready to spew
Into waiting trailers. The game is ended,
The reds have won, no one was there to see
The victory of the relaid turf.

Glyncoed Primary with Peter Read

The beautiful battle

White Cardiff in a sea of blue
Seats making the Mexican Wave
Green grass laid out like a mat
The sun’s blinding light shines on the pitch
Through the donutty roof
In the empty stadium we imagine
Roaring, chanting, screaming crowds
Two teams lined up for the battle of the football.
We hear the commentator’s booming voice
Cardiff score, the crowd’s noise a stampeding elephant
In the jampacked, grassy smell
Beneath the puffy, fluffy clouds
That look like candy floss..