Making small steps

Round & About

football

Columnist Robbie James says we still have a long way to go – but we can take tentative positives from the recent situation surrounding Luis Rubiales

Aside from filming a new TV Show in Scotland, trying to deal with summer being over, and watching Driving School (which is my new favourite TV show that you need to watch because it’s beyond funny), I’ve spent a lot of time digesting the complete madness of the Luis Rubiales case.

It’s one of the most mind boggling, head spinning, saddest stories I can remember (and think about the last few years of news).

I’m a white, straight, privileged male – I have absolutely no idea what Jenni Hermoso must be experiencing, nor how the rest of the Spanish team must feel, who put so much hard work into achieving something so incredible, only for it to be overshadowed by this mess.

Whilst it’s horrifying and utterly bizarre – the outpouring of support I’ve seen for Hermoso recently must give us some hope that whilst we clearly still have so far to go in terms of addressing the gender imbalance, we are making small steps forward.

Would this story have seen such coverage five or ten years ago? I highly doubt it. These sorts of stories have often divided opinion in the past, but this time it feels like the vast majority of people are in agreement that Rubiales has done a terrible thing. Things seem to be improving to the extent that more men are willing to stand up against those who discriminate or act upon archaic ideologies. And this is the demographic that needs to step up.

It’s not enough to just ‘not agree’ with these things. We need to be so much more proactive than we have been in the past when it comes to championing women.

Similarly with sport. If you like football, great. Watch Women’s football. Shout about Women’s Football – it’s people like us who need to play a part in swinging the pendulum into equilibrium. Plus, women’s football is genuinely brilliant, and these talented people deserve the attention. It’s lazy to just watch men’s football because it’s so accessible and the ‘done thing’.

I’m aware this comes across as very ‘do this now, and now do that’. We’re all a work in progress but if it didn’t preach this here this would be a very hypocritical column. Anyway, back to Driving School (seriously, watch it for an injection of joy).

Sign up for Play2Give tournament

Karen Neville

football

The Didcot-based charity is back with its popular football tournament at Wallingford Sports Park and needs your team

Do you live, sleep and breathe the beautiful game? Would you love to have a kick about while raising money for charity?

The popular Play2Give football tournament is back this summer at Wallingford Sports Park on Sunday, 9th July, for six-a-side teams to raise money for children, health, and disability causes right here on our doorstep.

Oxford Children’s Hospital, Headway Oxfordshire, SSNAP and Helen and Douglas House are the charities expected to receive a slice of funds from what is set to be a brilliant match of the day.

The event which kickstarted the charity in 2007 will return for its 12th year, with 2022 champions, ADT Decorating, keen to retain the cup for another victorious year.

Last year’s event which returned to Oxfordshire after a five-year break saw 16 teams compete for The P2G Paediatric Eye Fund sponsored cup, with squads including boxers, army squadrons, barbers, teams of friends, office workers, and even bereaved dads and a team of Didcot dads and the P2G Heroes FC.

Our football tournaments over the years have netted in the region of £42,000 for local causes, including young hospital patients and adults living with brain injuries.

Pitch side fun for children, a bar and hot food, stalls, charity raffle and music will all help to make this a great family day out.

Entries cost £60 per team and registration ends on June 29th.

Women’s walking football fun Fleet fundraiser

Ellie Cox

football

We’re all focused on football with the World Cup.. but closer to home, the Fleet of Foot team recently enjoyed a charity match in aid of Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice

Eleven women’s walking football teams from a 60-mile radius were invited to take part, including Bracknell, Great Wakering, Cheshunt, Arsenal, Portsmouth, and X Saints.

The home side, Fleet of Foot, entered two teams into the competition, and for some players it was their first experience of taking part in a tournament.

Some 26 games were played in total with match officials being supplied by the Fleet of Foot men’s walking football team.

“High quality football was enjoyed by players and spectators alike”

Ann Goddard tells us: “High quality football was enjoyed by players and spectators alike, with tough competition and a great team spirit being displayed by everyone. Congratulations to the overall winners, Bracknell Blues and the runners up, X Saints who just lost out to penalties in the final.”

Following the tournament, there was a buffet and prize giving where the teams socialised together and celebrated their efforts.

As well as enjoying the tournament, the players collectively raised £671.50 for Phyllis Tuckwell, making the event even more worthwhile.

Fleet of Foot women’s walking football was well supported by Everyone Active for this event at Hart.

Aimed primarily at the over-40s (but all ages are welcome), Fleet of Foot women’s walking football takes place on Thursdays, 7-8pm at Hart Everyone Active in Emerald Avenue, Fleet GU51 5HS. For more information or to arrange a free taster session, please email Sue on [email protected].

It’s come home – at last!

Round & About

football

Now it’s over to you… be inspired by our Lionesses and get involved in football where you are, whatever your age and ability

Football has come home, it’s taken 56 years to win a major honour but it was well worth waiting for as England women’s captain Leah Williamson lifted the Womens Euros 2022 trophy at Wembley on Sunday.

The amazing achievement of beating eight-times winners Germany 2-1 was immense and while many backed the Lionesses as the favourites for the tournament on home soil, the result is truly outstanding and the women deserve all the plaudits and honours that will come their way.

One of the key aims for The FA and the England Women has been ensuring that this fabulous celebration of football creates a legacy for future generations and encourages as many women and girls as possible to get involved in the beautiful game.

Whatever your age and ability, football is for all and offers a huge opportunity for women and girls to engage in a healthy lifestyle through football, promoting both physical activity and mental health benefits too.

Follow in the Lionesses’ footsteps there are many options open to you.

Whether you just want to have a kick about with your mates, have a go at walking football or want to join a local club and perhaps follow in the Lionesses’ footsteps there are many options open to you.

Surrey FA are passionate about supporting clubs to provide equal access for women and girls in football and want to ensure that all women and girls have access to football as players, coaches, referees, and volunteers.

They have an ambition to provide over 5,000 women and girls access to playing opportunities across the county, as well as raising the profile of the amazing opportunities available off the field.

Newly founded in 2021, the Surrey FA Women’s League, is a Tier 7 league on the National Women’s Football Pyramid which accommodates the growing demand for competitive women’s football in Surrey and provides weekly competitive fixtures to women 16+.
The county also has one of the largest girls leagues, with almost 400 teams competing every Sunday from U7s to U18s

As the growth of recreational football continues, as does the demand for competitive fixtures in a recreational, flexible environment. Formed in 2018, the Surrey FA Women’s Flexi-League offers monthly fixtures from October through to June, including various mid season tournaments.

The aim of the league is to provide a wider football offer, enabling more women to be involved in the game regardless of restrictions.

Find out more about all Surrey FA has to offer at www.surreyfa.com/players/women-and-girls

Get involved!

As several players and commentators said after the epic win, this has to be the start of something even more special.

It’s come home – at last!

Round & About

football

Now it’s over to you… be inspired by our Lionesses and get involved in football where you are, whatever your age and ability

Football has come home, it’s taken 56 years to win a major honour but it was well worth waiting for as England women’s captain Leah Williamson lifted the Womens Euros 2022 trophy at Wembley on Sunday.

The amazing achievement of beating eight-times winners Germany 2-1 was immense and while many backed the Lionesses as the favourites for the tournament on home soil, the result is truly outstanding and the women deserve all the plaudits and honours that will come their way.

One of the key aims for The FA and the England Women has been ensuring that this fabulous celebration of football creates a legacy for future generations and encourages as many women and girls as possible to get involved in the beautiful game.

Whatever your age and ability, football is for all and offers a huge opportunity for women and girls to engage in a healthy lifestyle through football, promoting both physical activity and mental health benefits too.

Follow in the Lionesses’ footsteps there are many options open to you.

Whether you just want to have a kick about with your mates, have a go at walking football or want to join a local club and perhaps follow in the Lionesses’ footsteps there are many options open to you.

Oxfordshire FA has a number of initiatives for girls and women to play their part in the “beautiful game” and is currently looking at relaunching the Women’s Small Sided Leagues such as 5-a-side – the ideal introduction to get into the game or get back into it.

Walking football offers a slower version of the game and enables women to play football under the same rules, enjoying the same great game just at a slower pace. Try Oxford United Walking Football Club at The Oxford Academy on Sunday afternoons.

Oxfordshire FA are also taking part in #LetGirlsPlay to celebrate the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022 and give women and girls’ the opportunity to get involved with football in their local community – any age, any ability.

Get involved!

As several players and commentators said after the epic win, this has to be the start of something even more special.

It’s come home – at last!

Round & About

football

Now it’s over to you… be inspired by our Lionesses and get involved in football where you are, whatever your age and ability

Football has come home, it’s taken 56 years to win a major honour but it was well worth waiting for as England women’s captain Leah Williamson lifted the Womens Euros 2022 trophy at Wembley on Sunday.

The amazing achievement of beating eight-times winners Germany 2-1 was immense and while many backed the Lionesses as the favourites for the tournament on home soil, the result is truly outstanding and the women deserve all the plaudits and honours that will come their way.

One of the key aims for The FA and the England Women has been ensuring that this fabulous celebration of football creates a legacy for future generations and encourages as many women and girls as possible to get involved in the beautiful game.

Whatever your age and ability, football is for all and offers a huge opportunity for women and girls to engage in a healthy lifestyle through football, promoting both physical activity and mental health benefits too.

Follow in the Lionesses’ footsteps there are many options open to you.

Whether you just want to have a kick about with your mates, have a go at walking football or want to join a local club and perhaps follow in the Lionesses’ footsteps there are many options open to you.

Hampshire FA is using the positive power of football to help all women and girls get involved in ‘the beautiful game’ through Find Your Feet and its specialist programmes.

Find Your Feet allows women aged 18+ to take part, whether it’s an introduction to football or you’re returning to the pitch. Learn basic skills and play casual football in a fun, friendly and relaxing way. Find out more about this and how you can join in at www.hampshirefa.com/players/women/find-your-feet

The organisation is also helping to support female communities through two specialist programmes include offering refugee / asylum seeking women the opportunity to play recreational football and working with the charity Aurora New Dawn which supports those who have experienced domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking.

Get involved!

As several players and commentators said after the epic win, this has to be the start of something even more special.

It’s come home – at last!

Round & About

football

Now it’s over to you… be inspired by our Lionesses and get involved in football where you are, whatever your age and ability

Football has come home, it’s taken 56 years to win a major honour but it was well worth waiting for as England women’s captain Leah Williamson lifted the Womens Euros 2022 trophy at Wembley on Sunday.

The amazing achievement of beating eight-times winners Germany 2-1 was immense and while many backed the Lionesses as the favourites for the tournament on home soil, the result is truly outstanding and the women deserve all the plaudits and honours that will come their way.

One of the key aims for The FA and the England Women has been ensuring that this fabulous celebration of football creates a legacy for future generations and encourages as many women and girls as possible to get involved in the beautiful game.

Whatever your age and ability, football is for all and offers a huge opportunity for women and girls to engage in a healthy lifestyle through football, promoting both physical activity and mental health benefits too.

Follow in the Lionesses’ footsteps there are many options open to you.

Whether you just want to have a kick about with your mates, have a go at walking football or want to join a local club and perhaps follow in the Lionesses’ footsteps there are many options open to you.

There’s never been a better time to get involved in football and with the FA’s Gameplan for Growth aiming to double participation, Berks & Bucks FA has a number of initiatives for you to join in.

Girls aged 5-11 can become a Weetabix Wildcat, non-competitive football for girls who want to give it a go for the very first time or want to play with other girls their own age. Most importantly, Weetabix Wildcats is all about having loads of fun and meeting new friends. Join a youth club or leagues across the counties and further your skills or just enjoy the physical and social benefits for fun.

And it’s not just for girls, there’s a wealth of options for women at club and recreational level too. More at www.berks-bucksfa.com/players/women

Get involved!

As several players and commentators said after the epic win, this has to be the start of something even more special.

Ronald McDonald House

Round & About

football

Martin Keown kicks off building with twins, Finley and Billy Kearns, and mum and dad, Laura and Robert.

Former Arsenal and England star Martin Keown has helped kick off building at the new accommodation for families with seriously ill children in Oxford. 

The footballer from Oxford broke ground at the new 62-bedroom Ronald McDonald House on the John Radcliffe Hospital site on Wednesday, 6th February. The house will provide families with free accommodation while their children are being treated to save them having to go to and from the hospital. 

Among those at the ceremony were two-year-old twins Finley and Billy Kearns, whose parents Laura and Robert spent more than four months at the current house after the twins were born prematurely. Billy needed surgery to reverse a stoma. The £14million facility is due to open in summer next year with 62 en-suite bedrooms and communal living facilities, including kitchens, lounges, playrooms, laundry rooms and a garden. 

The current 17-bedroom house has experienced a rise in demand over the last 15 years and while last year it accommodated 600 families, it had to turn a further 300 away. 

Ronald McDonald House Charities has raised £9million, Oxford Hospitals Charity has added £2.5million, Children with Cancer UK is donating more than £280,000 and McDonald’s employees and customers has raised £1.5million. A further £1million is still needed to fit and furnish the house and the charity is looking to the local community to help them in this fundraising effort, as well as for volunteers to help get the house ready and provide support.

CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Jon Howard said last week they were delighted to begin the expansion work. Thanking all those who have helped, he added: “We know from research it is beneficial for the health of family members and their child to keep them close together, and that comfortable and supportive accommodation nearby is a key enabler in this process.” 

Head of the paediatric psychology department Dr Karen Steinhardt with the range of services available at Oxford, families are increasingly travelling from further afield for treatment. She said: “This new accommodation at Ronald McDonald House Oxford will allow more families to be close by in the hospital grounds. 

“It will allow them to get more rest and sleep, eat properly and lead as normal a life as possible ad importantly, feel able to make the best decisions about their child’s health.” 

The new building will be open to families with children being cared for at Oxford Children’s Hospital as well as Children’s Critical Care and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on the John Radcliffe site. 

Picture credit: Richard Cave

  Read more about the Ronald McDonald House Charity