All Skilled Up Again


During April and May 2009 primary schools from the Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taff, Caerphilly and the detached youth team of Rhonnda Cynon Taff took part in the second pilot of the All Skilled Up Project. This is an innovative new sports and literature project between Academi, South Wales Valleys Literature Development Initiative and Cardiff City Football in the Community Team.

241 pupils and 30 teachers and support staff visited Ninian Park Football Ground for an inspiring day of football activities and creative writing opportunities. Pupils worked with John Tripp Award Winner, Peter Read to create a new football chant. They also enjoyed a treasure hunt as part of their guided tour around the grounds of the Cardiff City Football club.
Scott Young, Cardiff City said:

“All Skilled Up” is partnership between Cardiff City Football Club Community Foundation and Academi (Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency and Society for Authors).  It is a literacy project aimed at Key Stage 2 children across South Wales and it aims to increase basic skills in reading, writing and speaking, using football as the learning tool.

The Cardiff City Football Club Community Foundation firmly believes that it has a responsibility to the community to aid the development of its youngsters, both physically and educationally.  Using the stature of Cardiff City Football Club and the popularity of playing football, we can play a vital role in the encouragement of youngsters to improve their basic skills.

Each lesson has been developed with local consultants and teachers who have a real interest in Football.  Consequently, the project captures the imagination of the children which has them learning before they even realise it.

Another benefit of a project of this nature is that whilst we are improving children’s basic skills, we are also developing their football skills, fitness levels and teamwork in a fun and safe environment.

Peter Read

Features of Ninian Park
Palmerston Primary School with Peter Read

Like a live banner
Saying Cardiff City
Towering stands are eyebrows
On the face of the stadium
The lines of lime
Mark the playing surface
Goalposts square as chessboards
As players grab the ball like chess pieces
In the empty ground
No-one hears the clock
Come Saturday, it will tick
The excitement of the game
As the football ping pongs
Across the pitch from foot to foot
Chest to chest, knee to knee
Head to head

The Big Pitch
Oakfield Primary School with Peter Read

The big pitch
An ocean of green
Short, wavy grass
A million squares
Patterned by the grounds man
Into a spongy carpet
Walking through the tunnel
I hear an amazing crowd chant my name
I wave to my twenty thousand fans
Standing to attention for the anthem
The whistle blows.
Past Rinaldo, Rooney, Berbatov
Only Van Der Sar to beat
I see my name in flashing golden lights
And then the teacher shouts
‘It’s time to write a poem’

The Football Speaks
St Mary’s the Virgin Primary with Peter Read

Kick me if you must
But catch me gently goalie
I like to slither through the grass
But only on dry days
Not through the mud and rain
I love hitting the net
As twenty thousand cheer
Kick me in the air
So I can soar in the sky
And dive through the clouds
Throw me if you must
But not out of the ground
Only to the winning team
You’ve always got my trust
The full time whistle blows
My ninety minute job is done
I’m battered, bruised, exhausted
Deflated, waiting to be blown up for another match
Kick me, hit me, throw me if you must
But not so hard that I end up bust

Peter Read

The Crowd
Springwood Primary School with Peter Read

Like waves and seas of colour
The crowd sway
Through oceans of streets
The crowd chant
Ole, Ole, Ole, Cardiff, Cardiff
To fly high to victory
Heads ping pong
From side to side
Eyes glued to the ball
Will he. Won’t he score
Will he keep the ball
The crowd are begging for a goal
They rise up and down
Like a human elevator
At last it’s a goal
Joe Ledley scores
The noise of a stampeding elephant
As the crowd roars

We don’t like it, we love Football
Hafod and Pontygwaith Primary Schools with Peter Read

We don’t like it
We hate football
The same old thing
Passing, dribbling
Sounds like baby games to me

We love football
Running fast as the wind
Like a headless chicken
Seeking the golden ball

We hate the shoving crowds
Loud as crashing symbols
We love the singing crowds
Chanting, cheering
Egging players onto victory

We hate the footballers
Underworked and over paid
For a ninety minute shift
They wouldn’t last a second underground

We love the players
Ledley, Johnson, Chopra
And the rest
Led by Dave Jones
Who is the very best


Visiting the Bluebirds Home
Cymmer Primary School with Peter Read

The grass green as emeralds
Chairs filled with excitement
Waiting for footballers to come out to play
Chairs blue as the team and the sea
And white as clouds in the sky
Through the caterpillar tunnel
We see and hear the roaring, joyful crowd
The hungry goals are open mouths
Waiting to be fed by Bluebird strikes
Floodlights huge as the morning sun
Will attract fans and draw them like moths
To Ninian Park

Football is a passion
RCT detached Youth Team and Peter Read

Football is a passion
I live for the love of the game
Kicking with skill, having fun
Until we win the match
We try to respect the ref
Respect the players, the colour of their skin
The Bluebirds fans and other teams

To play the game we must be fit
We give up smoking
Go for the big seven:
Carbs, protein, fat
Fibre, vitamins, minerals and water
You represent your club, yourself
And the game the best you can

At the big match
Anticipation in our fingers
Adrenalin rush through our veins
The tension’s overwhelming
The crowd cheers like a pride of lions
Chanting the Bluebirds names
A global gathering
To watch the mighty City


Sounds of Ninian Park
Abertysswg Primary School and Peter Read

Crowds yelling like excited dogs
Wow, Hurray, Yeah
Shaking like leaves on a tree
Laughing like hyenas
When the others miss a goal
Hunting the ball in a pack
Shouting for a goal
Come on shoot, you can do it
Get in there, get stuck in
The player pulls back his leg to shoot
Yes, yes, yes, Ahhh no
They are on the attack again
To the sound of the banging, beating drums
Boom, bash, boosh, crash
Ting tong, whack
It’s a goal

The Ninian Park Clock
Fochrhiw Primary School with Peter Read

The clock round as a football
Circular as a face full of fingers
Looks like a giant eye over seats
Blue as a shiny sapphire and the flowing sea
It states the facts of
Kick off, half time and the final whistle
Some fans watch it nervously
Looking at it’s face more than the match
One nil ahead with five minutes to go
Time stretches as slowly as lessons
One goal behind the clock zooms
Faster than jumbo jets or Lamborghinis
This clock face has seen it all
Victories, defeats, promotions, relegations
People crying, people sighing
People jeering, people cheering
Now the season ends
It doesn’t want to be skipped
But hopes to tick in the new season
In a new stadium for
Jerrard, Torrez, Rinaldo and the rest.

Peter Read ccfc.