Arsenal FC Community & Women’s Recreational Football – 4th November 2018.

In May 2018, we organised a trip to the Arsenal Hub, where the Arsenal Community run their programmes, to play against a team of women who had been playing walking football with the men.  The women were enjoying playing walking football but didn’t have any like-minded women to play against so Justin Pryce, the Duty Manager at the Hub, contacted us to see if we would arrange to play them.   We didn’t need asking twice and arranged to travel to Arsenal for some friendly games, which also included a Stadium Tour.  This was a great success and after the first game where everyone was playing Walking Football, the next few games changed to everyone running!  This led to a conversation with Justin (possibly a bit of nagging) that he should look at starting up some Women’s Recreational sessions, as well as the Walking Football sessions.

After this successful event, the Arsenal Women then joined the COGS at the National Women’s Recreational Festival we held, in Crawley, and again enjoyed participating but not walking.   A month or so later, Justin started arranging a second Festival but this time with a few more teams.  4 other teams were invited to come to the Hub for a mini Festival and participate in as much football as the time allowed.  There would be no prizes for winning, just the fun and enjoyment of playing against each other.  An allocated changing room would be another treat!

In October 2018, Justin started up a new session, on Saturday mornings, for Women’s Recreational Football and this is now involving more women who are going along just to enjoy playing football.

November 4th was booked for the Festival and 6 teams enjoyed an afternoon of 8 minute 5 a-side games against each other.  The teams included: Canterbury Old Bags, 2 x COGS, Lanesra Ladies (the Arsenal Ladies’ new name!) Lewes Ladies’ Vets and AFC Wimbledon Foundation.

The whole afternoon was played in a great spirit and, again, the Stadium Tour was offered to the women who hadn’t yet done it.  Also included, as a surprise, was an Arsenal gift for all the players.  Again, it was a great day and another event that shows exactly what Women’s Recreational Football is all about:  meeting new friends, having fun and getting fit playing football.   All the women were over 40, with the majority nearing 50 or over, and everyone had a great time.

If any women reading this haven’t played football before and want to join in, there are now more and more groups setting up to make this possible.  If you’re in the Arsenal FC area, go along to the Hub on a Saturday morning at 10am and join in the fun!  Contact Justin Pryce at or see the “Other Teams” on this website for more groups/teams to join.  We’re now looking forward to Festival no. 3!

Fun was definitely had by all!  Thanks to Justin and the Arsenal Ladies for making everyone so welcome!