THE winners of a creative writing competition for schools and home-educated children were surprised by members of the AFC Bournemouth women’s team.

Eleanor Havard-Hussain, seven, Leo Russel, eight, and Sadie Morton, 10, visited the Vitality Stadium after they won their age categories in the competition organised by the Bournemouth Writing Festival.

They received a tour of the stadium, led by Steve Cuss, head of community sports trust at the club.

Four members of the women’s team surprised the winners in the home dressing room and presented them with an AFCB home shirt, with their chosen names on the back.

Bournemouth Echo: Eleanor, Leo and Sadie enjoyed a tour around the Vitality Stadium.

As well as the tour of the ground, the winner's names were announced in the official matchday programme in the cup match against Stoke.

The competition aimed to inspire children to write using a football-themed story as a starting point, and giving helpful hints to create an exciting tale.

It was open to all primary schools and home-educated children in Dorset.

The festival worked in partnership with Sandford St Martin’s Primary School to provide resources to support educators and teachers to guide their pupils’ creativity.

Judges Lorna Child, Christine Aziz and Jane Skellet praised the exceptional quality of the submissions, highlighting the success of the initiative in promoting creativity and literacy among young people.

Bournemouth Echo: Eleanor, Leo and Sadie with AFCB players in the media room.

Dominic Wong, festival director of the Bournemouth Writing Festival, said: “We were overwhelmed with the response to our competition to inspire young people to write, and were delighted that AFC Bournemouth and their Community Sports Trust supported us with such fantastic prizes.

“Thank you to everyone who took part and we look forward to announcing our next writing competition for young people in the New Year.”

The winning stories can be read on the Bournemouth Writing Festival website.

Next year’s festival takes place on April 26 to 28, in Bournemouth town centre.