We at TalkFootball firmly believe that football is not just for watching, but is most definitely for playing as well. As a youngster there were very few instances where you’d find me too far away from a ball of some sort. Playing sport is a terrific way to keep fit, meet new people and keep out of trouble.
The government are pushing sporting initiatives on a two-pronged attack:
Firstly with the London 2012 Olympic Games just four years away, they are hoping to show this country is a sports-mad nation. When London won the rights to host the games, the government hoped that it would get the country back behind sport and get the youth interested in getting active.
The United Kingdom has recently seen an alarming rise in the amount of kids that are seen as obese. Recent studies show that more than one in four kids are now seen as in that category – a statistic that doesn’t make pleasant reading. Getting the youth of today fit and interested in sporting activities is one of the government’s toughest challenges and here at TalkFootball we fully back what they are trying to do.
Secondly, keeping the youth of today off the streets is another big problem that the government of today faces. Youths running the streets has led to other civilians being afraid to leave their houses at night. All across the country after dark the same scene is played out time and time again – young people in groups, drinking, and causing mischief, making other people afraid to go out at night – particularly on their own.
So the best way to keep young people off the streets is by keeping them entertained in other ways. Sport is something that unites the majority of youngsters and if they can get their teeth into it, then they’ll not let it go. Parents would prefer to see their offspring out at organised sporting activities than roaming the streets and that is what we’ve got to try and strive for. The streets are not a safe place.
The same men that we cheer on every weekend all started off the same way – by playing youth football. There are some very famous boys clubs around like the Wallsend Boys Club in Newcastle. Some of England’s top names have come through this club like Alan Shearer, Steve Bruce, Michael Carrick and Peter Beardsley.
Wallsend are an independent club but all professional and many non-league clubs also run youth programmes. Clubs like to find the next Wayne Rooney or Joe Cole and they’ll run soccer schools during school holidays. They’ll do this both for their own benefit and scouting but also to help kids get exercise. Every club will have a community department, who you’ll be able to contact with regards to soccer school in your area. You can check out our list of community departments on our relevant page.
There is also schools football. Your school will probably run after school clubs and they are excellent starting points. Coaches will stress the importance of enjoying the game and having fun. We all know that winning is fun but just playing the game is also most enjoyable. Ask about it at your school.
We are going to put together several pages to help you out with getting into all aspects of football. So keep checking back for extra articles on grass roots football. To start with why don’t you check out our skills and fitness pages?
For those who are looking to get sports funding then the Cash 4 Clubs scheme may be of interest.