Get Into Football: Fun Games for Young and Old


Hi guys,

Here’s a press release about two schemes that I think offer the right message about participation in football, both of which are starting this weekend to coincide with the start of the World Cup.

Whether you know junior footballers who just want to turn up and have a fun kickaround or are somebody over-35 who wants to get back into football in a relaxed atmosphere, please take a look.

If you have any comments or questions drop me an email and I’ll be happy to help.

New football programmes for young and old use 
World Cup to encourage a more active and healthier nation

Two new national programmes are being launched on the first weekend of the World Cup on June 12 and 13 to encourage thousands of people, young and old, to not only watch but to play the game.

Football Football, which will operate in 26 locations every Saturday morning, is aimed at children of all abilities aged from five to 12 while Football Replay targets men aged over 35s.

For the youngsters, the emphasis is on fun and enjoyment. All sessions include five-a-side games led by FA qualified coaches so fewer players on the pitch means there’s more dribbling, passing and shooting – and more goals!

Small-sided games allow players to have more touches of the ball and greater involvement, which allows them to develop technically, tactically and socially.

Football Football is the children’s own club where they can play, meet new friends, and learn new skills. There are no leagues, points, substitutes or other detrimental aspects that adults too often bring to junior football.

The programme also addresses the problems of participation – specifically the UK’s 1.1m children who would like to join a team 1 and 2.4m children who wish to improve their soccer skills.

Football Football will reach thousands of children from inner cities where chances to play are often limited. Participation in 2012 Olympics host city London is currently 50 per cent lower than the national average.

Kicking off in 45 UK locations on Sunday, June 13 is Football Replay, which aims to encourage over 35 year old men to get back into playing football and enjoy the benefits of a more active and healthier lifestyle.

The launch, which coincides with a month-long spell when many football fans become couch potatoes, offers five-a-side matches at the same place, same time every week.

Start times vary at each location but are usually 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. Men can book individually, as small groups or even as a team. Book in, turn up and the centres will organise the rest. Players of all abilities and fitness levels are welcome.

Replay focuses on fun rather than competition with an emphasis on style and skill rather than sliding tackles.

Backed by the FA, the programme is partnered by the Men’s Health Forum to highlight how increasing physical activity can improve men’s health. With around three quarters of men aged over 35 now overweight, obesity is a major public health problem due to its association with serious chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes which are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular related mortality.

Obesity is also associated with cancer, disability and reduced quality of life and can lead to premature death. The annual cost of treating co-morbidities related to overweight and obesity is estimated to be £4.2 billion and is forecast to more than double by 2050.2

The outcomes of the programme are in line with Government policy and Sport England’s aim to get one million people doing more sport by 2012/13.

Sport England’s chairman, Richard Lewis, said: “This is a great chance for men to rediscover their love of football, just at the age when some are considering hanging up their boots. Replay will open up new opportunities for men who want to play in a fun and friendly environment.”

The programme is also being backed by Mike Farrar, chief executive of NHS North West and the national champion for sport, health and physical activity. He said: “Replay is an exciting development. The health of the nation can be greatly improved by increasing levels of physical activity and this is a fantastic opportunity to keep men over 35 playing our national game.”

While one advantage of Replay is creating a more active and healthier nation, the organisers are also exploring how other health priorities can be achieved, for example using the football centres to run services specifically for men or delivering key health messages.

For more details, visit or

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