The FA and McDonald’s have launched an innovative FA ‘SuperKicks’ App to help increase five-to-eight-year-olds’ football participation, fun and learning.
Available free of charge, the app targets parents and coaches of children of any ability. With a focus on rewarding play and learning, it’s a valuable tool to encourage education and participation.
The app is packed with over one hundred active and educational challenges, from football challenges like ‘defend your gate’, ‘cross the sea’ and ‘scoring zone’, to designing a team kit or writing a football story. The challenges have been created by FA coaches and established upon the England DNA Foundation Phase which introduces five-to-eight-year-olds to the philosophy.
Each activity has an easy-to-follow video guide, with the star of the app called ‘Kicker’ - a football-shaped character - acting as the child’s coach and mentor, providing encouragement throughout the challenges. Activities are across three levels of attainment and can also be played by one or two players for collective learning.
To encourage continual development in a fun environment, children’s participation will be recorded and rewarded with animated badges, with achievements unlocking customisable features and ‘Super Points’ earned for attempting selected challenges.
The app was unveiled at the launch of the McDonald’s participation-based ‘Fun Football’ programme. The FA SuperKicks App, informal coaching sessions, Fun Football Festivals and Activity Book will all form part of a pledge between The FA and McDonald’s to deliver five million hours of fun football to five-to-eleven-year-olds by 2022.
Steve Day, Head of Development at The FA, said: “Based upon the England DNA Foundation Phase, the FA SuperKicks App has been designed to help children have fun, develop their active lives and a love of football but also stimulate the learning of skills and abilities, which will be useful in all areas of their life. We hope this proves a valuable tool for parents and coaches.”
Essex County FA Chief Executive, Brendan Walshe, added: “The Foundation Phase is crucial for an individual’s development, and to help them grow a love for football. The FA SuperKicks App will certainly help to inspire a lifelong relationship with the game. Anything which can encourage education and participation is a huge positive.”