FEATURE: Women’s football sessions kick off
A new scheme encouraging women into football has been set up by Hertfordshire FA and North Herts District Council (NHDC). Reporter Laura Burge went along to the first session to try it out.
FOOTBALL, let’s just say, would not have been my first choice of sport to play. I watch and support it (Forest Green Rovers, in case you were wondering), have a Fantasy Football team and enjoy tuning into Jeff on a Saturday afternoon. But that is just about as far as it goes.
Until Wednesday, that is. Wearing the clothes I normally would to the gym (no footie socks, shin pads or boots in sight), I was slightly worried that I would stick out like a sore thumb.
Actually, I didn’t. Some people there were in football attire, others had on their trackie bottoms. Some had played football before, others were pretty much new to it. There was one thing in common though - everyone just wanted to get fit and play some football in a friendly environment.
My ability to play may have been slightly questionable - I fell over, missed the ball a fair few times and got embarrassingly tired after playing for just a short amount of time. But none of that really mattered - no-one was there to judge or take the mickey.
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In fact, everything was constructive. In the unlikely event I did make a tackle or good pass, it was praised. In the much more likely event I did something wrong, advice was given.
It was good exercise too - I certainly felt like I’d had a proper workout afterwards. And it was fun as well. Everyone was friendly, and the training was broken up with different games - it certainly wasn’t boring.
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We began with a warm-up, went on to try different exercises, then culminated in a game which encouraged us to pass the ball, work as a team, defend and ultimately, score.
There was a slight issue with the crimson cones that were placed as the four goals due to my being colour-blind (red-green), but it did give me an excuse when missing the target, at least.
I won’t pretend I wasn’t sceptical about playing at first. But I DID have fun and I think the slightly achy limbs the next day pay testament to the fact it’s great exercise.
Like it or not, football is unfortunately so often portrayed as a man’s game, and this is something that must be changed. Schemes like this could well help shatter that image.
l Sessions are held on Wednesdays between 6pm and 7pm at the astro-pitches at North Hertfordshire College and cost �3 a session.
For more information, visit www.hertfordshirefa.com or contact Louise Suff by phone on 01462 650219 or 07534 713063, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org