As you know if you follow my blog I'm really passionate about getting children outside and active. I try get my children into the fresh air as much as possible and although I can't deny they do play the odd game on the iPhone (usually when I'm desperately trying to tidy up) I really feel that childhood should not be about technology but about having adventures and running around in the great outdoors.
Luckily my two seem to agree - especially my daughter who adores sports and would play all day long if she could. She is particularly into football which is a fantastic sport for anyone and everyone as all you need is a ball and at least 2 people and you've got yourself a game. It can be played practically anywhere you have a bit of space and best of all it's free! So we were really excited to be invited to a football training day at the lovely Ware Youth FC along with football stars Casey Stoney and Martin Keown.
They day was held in conjunction with McDonalds who have partnered with the FA to support and promote grassroots football in Hertfordshire - encouraging children to get playing and supporting local youth teams with donations of kit and equipment. McDonalds have actually been the nation’s biggest supporter of grassroots football over the last 12 year and McDonald’s has helped improve standards at grassroots level to help coaches, clubs and leagues play an even greater role in community football.
The training day was especially exciting for my daughter as Casey Stoney the former England Ladies Captain was there as well as Martin Keown former Arsenal and international player. They were there to help encourage the children and to help paint a special mural designed by street artist Ben Mosley.
It was a fantastic day and my two little ones really took to the "beautiful game". They loved joining in the training sessions and it was really inspiring for my daughter to see a woman playing football so successfully and it definitely gave her the confidence boost that girls can do it too! It was great to meet Casey and when commenting on the event she said “It’s been wonderful to connect with the grassroots game and meet everyone involved at Ware Youth FC. FA Charter Standard Clubs such as Ware Youth FC bring their community together as well as developing young footballing talent. None of this is possible without the hours spent by coaches and volunteers up and down the country. It’s important that we recognise that these people are the true heroes of the game in the UK.
It also brought home to me how grateful we should be to the volunteers who give up their spare time to help train, teach and encourage children to play football. Without their dedication clubs like this just wouldn't happen and children in Hertfordshire would not have the opportunity to practice and enjoy playing football so a big thank you to everyone who was there helping out!
Our family thought the day was a great success and it's good to know that there are large companies such as McDonalds giving something back to their local community. It definitely inspired all of us to get active and the children have talked about it non-stop since!
For more information about McDonalds grassroots football and to find activities in your area why not visit their site here