A new spin off from Creative Supports SIFL has been making some noise Every Wednesday at ‘The Bric’, in the ladies football session run by the newly qualified F.A coach Cathy O’Meara from Creative Support, and their new partners UCLAN represented by Cian McEvoy, the football development officer. Along with myself Wayne, as a volunteer the 3 of us cover all bases, experience, passion, patience and banter! And in Cian’s case Blades (not allowed) and 120mph shots!!
Before the session starts the crowd gathers in the car park. You feel the new found excitement in the ladies week, new friends, team mates embracing welcoming each other, we all pile in! Cian gets the sound system on…Rave! Dance! Football…like garlic bread…it’s the future!
Once changed and everyone has arrived Cathy gathers us all in. Any new faces are introduced and welcomed to the family instantly, then training begins. It’s not just training, there are mini games, challenges, skills, everyone pushing themselves determined to get player of the week (more of that later!).
So if you can imagine, the ladies (and, Cian & myself), doing drills, skills all to the rhythm of the of the music factory! The encouragement, banter and plenty of fun! You see the smiles you hear the laughter, so this ticks all the boxes…exercise, getting people out, connecting, raising endorphins…the feel good factor…a sense of belonging…being part of a team, new friends, learning new skills, problem solving, the list is endless… and all this in a safe, professional environment!
Over the weeks the numbers grown, the feel good factor is spreading, the seed is blossoming and already it’s a beautiful sight to see. Every session finishes with a game and to see the people working together, ladies encouraging the new arrivals, giving all they’ve got when they first become themselves is truly remarkable to see. When the final whistle blows, regardless of the score, embraces, high fives, and handshakes by all. We’re tired, but a nice tired, with warmth and smiles.
Now to really understand what this does for someone might be hard to explain, you probably have to be there, but I will try. Some people have never had recognition, or achievement, an award! When that names called out, the look of shock, excitement, joy, pride, all with screams, shouts of ‘Congratulations’ with a round of applause.
The presentation happens and the medals could be given by the Queen (well they are…Queen Cathy!) or could be a knighthood because that is what they mean! Chest puffed out, head held high, Proud!
This session gives so much, the joy and sunshine is there for all to see, it’s infectious! It’s my favourite session, Cath told me that one lady said ‘Promise me these sessions will never stop! they are the best thing I look forward to all week!’.
Come down, see, and feel…