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To celebrate the return of Premier League Writing Stars, a poetry competition for children aged five to 11, Manchester City’s Brahim Diaz, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Daniel Grimshaw and Arijanet Muric visited Ashbury Meadow Community Primary School earlier this week.

This year’s competition challenges participants to write their own poems around the theme of diversity for the chance to win some incredible football prizes.

During their visit to the primary school in East Manchester, Diaz, Zinchenko, Grimshaw and  Muric joined a poetry workshop led by Manchester City in the Community. As part of the workshop, pupils were split in teams of four or five and were tasked with writing a poem or a rap on the theme of diversity.

Diaz, Zinchenko, Grimshaw and Muric helped inspire children to produce their Writing Stars entries and also answered questions from pupils, before hearing each team’s poem and selecting their favourite one. Each child in the winning team received a signed Manchester City shirt.

Oleksandr Zinchenko said: “It was a great pleasure to meet the children today and see their smiles. The creativity they showed in their poems was incredible, it was so hard to select the winning team!”

Brahim Diaz said: “It was great to have the opportunity to talk about the importance of diversity with the children. The school visit today has been a great experience, I particularly enjoyed seeing the children rap, they were brilliant!”

This year’s judging panel includes ‘Charlie and Lola’ author-illustrator and Waterstones Children’s Laureate Lauren Child, former professional footballer Rio Ferdinand, children’s poet Joseph Coelho and singer and songwriter Olly Murs. All judging will be overseen by Jonathan Douglas, National Literacy Trust Director.

National winners and ten regional winners will be selected across both Key Stage 1 (5 to 7 years old) and Key Stage 2 (7 to 11 years old) with the judges looking out for criteria including creativity, tone and originality.

The winning poems will be published in a limited-edition book as well as being read aloud by famous faces. Entrants can also win poetry workshops and Premier League trophy visits for their schools.

Writing Stars is supported by the National Literacy Trust and is part of the Premier League Primary Stars education programme, which provides free-to-use educational resources and in school support to teachers. More than 16,000 primary schools in England and Wales are currently participating in Premier League Primary Stars and Teachers and parents should visit www.plprimarystars.com to register or nominate their schools to take part.

Manchester City is one of 101 Premier League, EFL and National League clubs in England and Wales which provides in-school support to teachers and pupils as part of Premier League Primary Stars - the organisation’s education-linked community programme.

In 2017-18, Premier League Writing Stars received over 25,000 entries from across the country, making it the largest-ever national poetry competition.

Entrants to the Premier League Writing Stars competition will have until 23 December to submit their original poems. Entries can come in all forms including lyrics or a rap. Teachers and parents can register or nominate their child’s school to take part at PLPrimaryStars.com.