Leah Williamson designs Blue Peter sport badge to ‘inspire next generation'

Arsenal and England player Leah Williamson has designed a Blue Peter sport badge (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Charlotte McLaughlin, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Footballer Leah Williamson has designed a sport badge for children’s TV show Blue Peter as she wants the “next generation to feel inspired”.

The England captain, who has become a children’s author since her team won a historic victory last year at the Uefa Women’s Euro championship, has included various sports equipment in her design.

The new badge features a football, rugby ball, cricket ball, tennis ball and a badminton shuttlecock along with Blue Peter’s ship-shaped emblem in the centre.

Williamson, 26, said: “It’s such an honour to design the new Blue Peter Sport badge.

“I want the next generation to feel inspired and have the self belief to try any sport they want to. I hope they feel the same joy I do when taking part in sport.”

The Blue Peter sport badge, awarded to children aged five to 15 for getting active and trying a sport that they have never tried before, will be unveiled on the BBC show on Friday at 5pm.

In February, it was announced that the Arsenal defender has signed a three-book deal with Macmillan Children’s Book with the first You Have the Power: Find Your Strength And Believe You Can, a guide for young girls, released in March.

Her first non-fiction book, The Wonder Team And The Forgotten Footballers, which will come out next month, has been inspired by women challenging the Football Association (FA) ban.

Female footballers were not allowed to play on FA member grounds between 1921 and 1971.

Wheelchair racer and Blue Peter presenter Abby Cook, who has trained alongside Paralympians as part of the athletics club Forth Valley Flyers, spoke about how activity can help young people.

She said: “I love the new badge. Sport is so important; it is so good for mental health as well as getting you out and active.

“So, don’t let anything stop you, get involved and give a new activity a go. I can’t wait to see all your pictures and read about what sports you’ve been doing to earn your badges.”

A previous sports badge was designed by British-Japanese professional skateboarder and teenager Sky Brown, who competed in the 2020 Olympics.

Last month, Blue Peter celebrated 60 years of the show’s badge which was first introduced by television producer Biddy Baxter in 1963.

Children can also earn Blue, Silver, Green, Sport, Purple, Orange, Gold and Music badges.