You will need
- Coloured pens or pencils
Before you begin
- If you can, print enough copies of the ‘Football shirt template’ for everyone. It’s best to have a few spares too, just in case. You could also print one or two onto card for people to draw around.
- Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a printer – just copy the template to draw your own shirt.
- This activity works well as part of a football themed session, for example, alongside Footy fandom.
- Everyone should decide whether they’ll create a shirt for a real or imaginary football team. They could create a shirt for Manchester United’s 2020/2021 season, for example, or invent their own football team.
- Everyone should choose the main colours for their football shirt. The colours on football teams’ home kits make them instantly recognisable, so people should try to pick eye-catching colours that stand out across stadiums and on TV. They should use their colours throughout their design.
- Everyone should design a crest and draw it on the front of their shirt. Crests are teams’ coats of arms. Historically, they were worn on kits to pay tribute to this history of the town or city and its industries or landmarks.
- Everyone should add a name and number to the back of their shirt. Football shirts have a one or two digit squad number on the back; these numbers used to show people’s position on the pitch, but now they’re usually just players’ favourite numbers (or whatever numbers are available). The surname of the player is written above the number.
- Everyone should finish off by colouring in any gaps. What colours will they use as the background? Will it be a plain colour, or have a pattern (for example, stripes)?
Everyone developed skills in this activity. They had to think about the reasons for choosing different aspects of their design – for example making sure that fabrics and shapes help the players perform well, making sure the kit is recognisable, and making sure that it represents the club. How did people capture the identity of their team in their design?
When people get stuck in, great things can happen. In 1950, Brazil lost the World Cup wearing their white shirts. Three years later, a Brazilian newspaper ran a competition to redesign the kit, with the requirement that it had to use the colours of the Brazilian flag. The winner, Aldyr Garcia Schlee, was only 18 when he submitted his winning design. He’d sketched out over 100 different combinations of the colours before settling on his entry. Brazil have since won five World Cups wearing their bright yellow shirts. What do people think would’ve happened if Aldyr Schlee had just submitted the first thing he’d thought of? Why do people think Brazil’s kit has stayed so similar since the 1950s?
- Online safety
Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe.
For more support around online safety or bullying, check out the NSPCC website. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.
As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare (including their online experiences), follow the Yellow Card reporting processes.