Firms make plans for World Cup crunch
WORKPLACES and classrooms across Peterborough are set to come to a standstill tomorrow as hundreds of factory workers, office staff and pupils stop what they are doing to back England’s battle for World Cup glory.
With Fabio Capello’s men facing a must win match against Solvenia at 3pm to ensure qualification to the knock out stages of the tournament, many workers will be keen to escape from their desks or shopfloor to find a screen to watch the action.
So, rather than face the prospect of seeing employees and pupils go missing come kick-off time, many of the major firms and schools in the city are allowing supporters to watch the big match at their desks.
Faith McMath, from insurance firm BGL, based in Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough, said workers would be encouraged to take part in a series of footballing activities in the office tomorrow.
She said: “We are having a football fun day tomorrow. There will be various events going on, including a keepy uppy challenge, a Question of Sport and a barbecue. We will have big screens up in meeting rooms as well, so people will be able to watch the match live.”
Staff at engineering firm Baker Perkins, on Paston Parkway, Peterborough, will be given the chance to go home and watch the match.
A spokeswoman said: “We are expecting everyone to come in as normal tomorrow, but if people want to watch the match then they can go home and watch it. However, they will have to make up the time later.”
Nick Sanham, from Thomas Cook, based in Bretton, said they were hoping for a good atmosphere during the do-ordie match.
He said: “Throughout the World Cup we have had people taking early and late lunches to watch the football, and we have a number of screens showing the matches all over the office.
“On Wednesday we will have a football dress down day for Thomas Cook Children’s Charity as well, so people will be able to come to work in their football shirts if they donate money to the cause. I am sure there will be a good atmosphere if England do well.”
And youngsters will also be able to keep track of England’s progress at their school. With kick off coming at the end of the school day, Ken Stimpson Community School, in Staniland Way, Werrington, will be allowing pupils to watch the first half before heading home for the finale.
Principal Richard Lord said; “We have a piece of software that will allow the game to be screened in the classrooms at the end of the day. School finishes at 3.15pm, and it will be up to the children how long they stay for.
“We did something similar in 2002, when we opened early. It is important to do something, as otherwise there could be concerns about attendance.”
However, Peterborough City Council said the only way for workers to watch the match live was to take annual holiday on the day.
A city council spokeswoman said: “Any employees who wish to take time off to watch their team in the World Cup can do so by requesting annual leave in the usual way. Late requests for leave will be considered as long as sufficient cover is available in the team.
“While we will be as flexible as possible in allowing employees to take time off to watch games should they wish to, providing effective services is our priority.”