- The Club’s Under-13s players have been involved in the 2021 Christmas Truce Challenge
- A Premier League initiative, the project helps young players to learn more about the events of the First World War
- Leicester City’s youngsters completed several tasks, including presenting to the Under-23s squad
- They also wrote poems and researched the events of the truce as part of the competition
The Christmas truce is one of the most well-known events of the First World War. Taking place on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 1914, the truce saw British and German soldiers lay down their weapons to sing carols, exchange gifts, and play impromptu games of football in no man’s land.
The truce involved thousands of soldiers and happened along the battle lines around Ypres. For that day, hostilities were ceased.
This year marks the 10th Premier League Truce Tournament, founded in the spirit of the Christmas truce. For 2021, the Truce Challenge focuses on celebrating the powerful story of football and friendship.
The Club’s Under-13s players have been involved in a range of truce-themed activities to learn more about the event and why it is still remembered to this day.
Leicester City U13s
Players were able to present their findings on The Football Truce to the Under-23s squad and staff.
They created truce-themed poems, read to camera, and completed project work delving into the accounts of the truce from Leicester Fosse players, using copies of original letters to research their task.
Other elements of the project included several of the players presenting what they had learned to the Under-23s, educating their seniors on the historical significance behind Remembrance Sunday and the 1914 truce.
According to Matt Clarke, Head of Academy Education, the project highlights the importance of education and remembrance for young, aspiring players, alongside their football.
“There’s a focus on friendship and unity going forward,” he explained to LCFC TV. “We’re giving the boys an understanding of the importance of the day. The foundation of the project is the 1914 football truce.
“We’ve done a couple of sessions on that and the football element to it obviously engages them much more and brings it to life for them. One of the questions they ask is: ‘Who won the match?’
Leicester City U13s
The youngsters were able to learn much more about why remembrance is important, through the project.
“We talk about some of the Leicester Fosse players who were playing at the time war broke out and were then conscripted into the war, and they’ve done some research on those players, which they have delivered to the Under-23s.
“Remembrance for fallen servicemen and servicewomen is extremely important and, as time goes by, the relevance of it is more difficult to deliver, but we as a generation need to pass it on to the young boys, so they are aware of the sacrifices made in all conflicts.”
One of those Under-13s Academy players, Leo, spoke about his own poem and what he has learned from the project.
He commented: “I’ve written a poem about the Christmas truce and described what happened and all the problems and how sad it was.
“I think the truce was really good for them because they had a chance to actually socialise instead of just focusing on the war. I think it was a pretty good day for them and it would have brought smiles.”
At 11am on 11 November, a period of silence was observed out on the pitch at LCFC Training Ground by the Under-13s players and staff, as well as the Under-23s squad.
Leicester City Academy
LCFC Training Ground fell silent to remember all those lost in armed conflict.
Academy Tutor Katrina Bakewell explained the importance of taking on board the key elements within the project to apply into their everyday lives.
“The young men that were in battle, they were working together, there was a unity among them,” she said. “So we can use that to develop those links of friendship and unity, trust and respect, which we obviously promote every day within our football.
“For the boys, it’s been a really enjoyable and interesting experience to find out a little bit about how they would have lived, how they would have been away from their families, how a lot of them would have never come home and how that might have felt.
“War is still part of people’s lives in lots of different countries. We are lucky that we are able to look at it from a distance. It’s incredibly important for these young men to show everything to others at this time.”
The competition to create a truce, inspired by the events which took place on Christmas Day in 1914, can earn a place at the Christmas Truce tournament.
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