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Happy 5th Birthday to us!

While there are then many people missing playing football game game at the moment, who would accept idea, that five years agone many “older” women who had never played football game before would be saying the same?!

This is meant to look like a v!

In these unprecedented times of Covid-19 heroes, sadness and working from abode, in that location are Lockdown football game challenges (even some of the simple ones are quite a challenge!) which are keeping our football activity live.  At that identify is besides plenty of humour in watching some of those activities, specially when it comes to the COGS!  Kathryn always has u.s. laughing with her antics!

On Mon 16thursday

April 2015, at half-dozen.15pm, later on help from both Amy Fazackerley (Crawley Boondocks Community Foundation) and Nicol Meredith (EFL Trust) and a rallying telephone telephone call from Ballad Bates (aged 48 at the 4th dimension) to Facebook friends and sideline Mums, the appointment had arrived for a new blazon of football session.  An idea from Carol for a session for “older” women to learn to play football was well-virtually to go existent.  The term “older” was loosely translated to anyone who wasn’t a jump craven, had no feel playing football and simply wanted to have some fun with a brawl, brand new friends and possibly proceeds some skills forth the mode.

With some funding from the EFL Trust for 10 weeks and the session provided by the Crawley Town Community Foundation, x women turned up on the start night.  Information engineering science was fun, we ached from laughing and doing the Liam Gallagher and Kim Kardashian stretches and nosotros actually constitute we could kicking a ball to each other!  It may non have gone exactly where we wanted to laissez passer information technology merely no one cared, we just wanted more……

We grew from 10 on that first night to over 150 women on the books, five years afterward.  Everyone comes when they tin, at that place is no delivery every week, as women accept decorated lives.   Everyone is welcome.

Throughout the final 5 years, we are humbled to accept been involved with some incredible events with the FA.  Nosotros have won some amazing National and Local Awards, been the subject of brusk Television receiver films, radio interviews and paper articles (all of which have reached more women and inspired some of them to either commencement playing or fix their own groups) and been invited to some prestigious events.  We’ve been very lucky and even had a visit, in 2017, from the Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch MP, which was fantastic.

Ane of the virtually rewarding things during this fourth dimension, is that we accept seen over 150 women bring together u.south. at one fourth dimension or another, the majority of whom have never played before, and to run across their progress from non beingness able to play, to playing in matches with a smiling on their faces is just brilliant.

Football game game is a great action to increment conviction, cocky-esteem, mental/concrete well-being and fitness, and we are of the belief that anyone can play because is doesn’t affair how good (or not so good) yous are, to u.s. it’southward all about participating, having fun and enjoying beingness active.  From starting with x women on that first dark, we now accept 4 sessions per agenda week which cover all abilities.  Whether you are a beginner with no experience, someone who has a limited amount of feel, someone who wants to come up back into the game or just someone who wants a slower paced version of the game, COGS has a session for everyone, each week, 50 weeks of the year.  And yeah, for only a few hours, Jordan Nobbs was a COG, in 2015!  How lucky we were!

Since nosotros started, in 2015, at that place take been many other teams and groups who have started up and who also accept the aforementioned ethos most just having fun while playing.  This, we believe is why, what we at present call Women’southward Recreational Football, is probably ane of the fastest growing genres of the Women’s game.  Women’south Recreational Football game is supported past the FA, with local County FAs running participation Festivals and competitive Leagues also as other Clubs running their ain Festivals/Tournaments.  We now take Women’south Walking Football, too, which helps not merely women over 40 who want to play a slower paced version of the game only women who are coming dorsum into the game who may have had an injury or but want to walk instead of run.   At that place is too the opportunity, separately, to download a football activity session called Soccercise, from the FA website, which includes football exercises also, then in that location is something for everyone.

During those v years, we accept run some modest Festivals and a National Women’south Recreational Football game Festival where over 200 women came to Crawley to just play for fun.  Virtually recently, we organised the Old Girls’ “World Loving cup” with the Canterbury Quondam Bags, in France, which was an amazing success.  We were due to hold #COGSFEST20 in 10 days’ time too only for obvious reasons that is at present on hold, but it goes to show how pop Women’southward Recreational Football is condign when 32 team spaces were booked inside a calendar week!  Amazing.  At that place are also some slap-up Festivals and Tournaments beingness held around the Land on a regular basis.

One of our proudest moments came off the pitch, when just over a year ago, we started up our COGS & Intendance Homes project.  Non simply is this 1 of the nearly rewarding part of COGS, information technology’due south enabled us to give something back to the Community.  Francis Court Care Habitation is a wonderful place which houses dementia patients, every bit well as others, and we utilize the power of football game to bring some fun to the residents on a Sun morning fourth dimension every half-dozen/8 weeks.   They beloved it, we love information technology and nosotros hope that this tin be replicated in more than places in the time to come.

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Nosotros spoke to a few women who told us what being able to play football at a after celebrated flow meant to them.  Firstly, nosotros spoke to some of our COGS, new and onetime, and asked them how they felt nearly at present being able to play football, having non played previously:

Sandra Rees (52), was one of the original x:

“I was 47 when I started, at present I’1000 52!  That’s…..  five years of learning to play football!  five years of making new friends!  v years of enjoyment! Couldn’t alive without information technology!  It’south changed my life in and so many means.  Happy 5th Birthday to u.s.a. COGS!”

Pauline Maddocks (61), joined 3 weeks after the start session:

“The all-time conclusion I ever fabricated was joining COGS five years ago.  I accept go confident, outgoing, made loads of friends, developed skills and institute my playing position every bit the “Rock in defense”, a nickname given to me past Marcus which has stuck. I  am a happy, fatty, fit 61 twelvemonth old who doesn’t want this football journeying to end.”

Nosotros promise Mr. One thousand. comes a close 2d, Rock!!

Kerry Jinks (37), joined COGS in Jan 2018:

“Joining COGS has been a real game changer for me.   I have fabricated some fantastic friends over the concluding couple of years and tin’t imagine my life without you all.  I have never laughed and so much and I honey being around yous all.  COGS is a slap-up mode to become fit and brand new friends and would thoroughly recommend information technology to anyone.”

Louise Camby (45), joined COGS in Apr 2019:

“I joined COGS last twelvemonth and have thoroughly enjoyed existence a role of this fabulous ladies football game community. Loved making new friends, enjoying practise in a team surround, learning and affectionate the skill of playing football and taking part in festivals and collecting medals! It’southward brilliant!”

Tricia Williams (48), joined our Walking Football game session in January 2020:

“I joined the COGS walking football game game in January 2020 as with my children getting older, I was swell to take on an activeness for me to improve my fettle and make new friends. I love the walking football game sessions, they are neat fun and an hour flies by.”

Debbie Tippett (45), joined our Walking Football session in January and likewise now attends the Beginners’ session, too:

“COGS has brought me new friends, do that I relish and nigh importantly a confidence that I’d lost. Everyone is and so warm and welcoming. Beloved information technology!”

We also spoke to
Jo Treharne

who founded the
Canterbury One-time Numberless, in January 2017 and
Caroline Jones (CJ)

who forth with Kate & Andrea, founded

Hot Women FC,
in August last yr, afterwards watching the FIFA Women’southward Globe Cup.  The “Hotties”, every bit they refer to themselves, also started up a Women’southward Recreational Football podcast, which has been fantastic!  Yous tin can detect it on the usual platforms under “Hot Shots”.  Women’s Recreational Football really has come a long mode!

Jo Treharne, Founder of the Canterbury Quondam Numberless, proudly said:

Since ‘spotting’ Carol on the BBC talking well-nigh the COGS, our own little project in Canterbury has gone from forcefulness to force, with new members and new sessions being developed all the time in improver to our normal Thursday recreational group. Several of the bags have adult their game further, with around nine of the team at nowadays playing regular league football for Faversham Strike Forcefulness women’due s team, and our bright Ally Walters taking over as jitney. We’ve too developed our Futsal program with Catherine ‘Bradders’ Bradley organising a Canterbury recreational league which has seen two numberless squads compete with teams from beyond Eastward Kent. Bradders, Ally and Jo have besides qualified as Level one Futsal coaches, and Emma, Marry and Chloe have completed their level i FA badges. Several other bags are planning to accept their badges soon and Chloe, Emma, Jo and Millie also jitney the Faversham Wildcats on a Sunday morning time! Helping the side past side generation of female footballers. Nosotros take also teamed up with local club Canterbury Eagles to offering Wildcats sessions for girls – starting in 2020. That’s not to mention the socials, the parties, the babies (eight at the final count!), the support and the fun that nosotros take had. And so from tiny acorns so many mighty oaks have grown! Happy fifth altogether COGS – look what y’all started!

CJ, from Hot Women FC, enthused:

“Apart from the joy of just playing football game, Hot Women FC gives us reason to go fit and stay fit in a really enjoyable and inclusive manner.  And through football game game, our pocket-size-scale group of founding friends has widened to become a broader community of footie-mad Hotties.”

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And and so what we want to say actually, is that if you’ve ever wondered what information technology would exist similar to larn to play football at a later on age or if y’all’ve ever thought, I’grand not expert enough to play every chip I don’t accept whatever feel or am non the right shape or size, you’re exactly the sort of person who would honey the sessions!  If you’ve played earlier and fallen out of the game due to family, injuries, not enough time, or not being able to commit to annihilation, y’all’re exactly the sort of person who would love the sessions!  Our non-judgemental sessions are held, without commitment, you plow up when y’all tin, y’all come up and have fun with u.south.a. when yous can and you can make all kinds of new friends in women that you may never accept met!

Non only has COGS provided a community of women the opportunity to play football game, the knock-on effects from that are substantial in terms of supporting the Women’s game, in full general.  Quite a few COGS are now football game coaches, with some running new girls’ teams, some accept completed Referee courses and officiate in matches and many COGS now nourish/lookout the professional person Women’s game as well as games below that.  Some have fifty-l returned to playing League football!

A few COGS along with members of other Women’s Rec. teams travelled to the Earth Cup in French republic and have followed the Lionesses to other places likewise.  It’southward a swell knock-on effect.  The small-scale steps taken to starting fourth dimension learning to play football tin lead y’all lot to fifty-fifty bigger steps in helping grow the Women’southward game.   Become on Lath, it really is swell fun when you lot all get together!

When we can get back to playing, we will go on to promote and savour trying to go more opportunities for women everywhere to exist able to play and nosotros hope, in the adjacent 5 years, that many more women will benefit from what we’ve been having fun from for the last five years.

We’ve laughed together, nosotros’ve got boozer together (this is quite mutual amongst the women and groups we know!), we’ve cried together, we’ve bonded together and all because of a football!  Simply give it a go, y’all never know how much your life will modify.

Merely recall, y’all’re never as well quondam and it’s never besides tardily!



Nosotros’ll certainly exist having a beverage this evening (at dwelling house) to gloat!  Happy Altogether to u.due south.a.!

Source: https://fusiontr.com/jarvis_sidley_270422_100-jpg-simon-roe-photography/