COGS in Review – 2022

In the COGS’ year, no year is ever a quiet one!  Especially, with the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Competition being held in England and being involved in the Legacy Programme for Host City Brighton & Hove, it was going to be an even busier one than usual, let alone one full of fun and enjoyment!

We looked after each other, empowered each other, inspired other women to join us, had some great events, celebrated watching the Lionesses and increased the number of COGS coaches through the FA Playmaker and the Introduction to Coaching Football courses.  Not to mention many of our women who continued to inspire others nationally, through the media.

We enjoyed seeing the growth of Women’s Recreational Football and playing against groups of women who we hadn’t met before, as well as those who have become life long friends.  We celebrated events with these women, we joined together to remember others and we held the amazing day, which was #COGSEUROFEST22, where there aren’t enough superlatives to express what a positive, encouraging and inspiring environment it was where over 400 women came to Crawley just to enjoy some games of football against like-minded women.  Nothing more, nothing less.

We would like to thank everyone who has given any one of us the opportunity to make a difference or make special memories.   2022 will be remembered as a very special year and little did we know at the beginning of it, the impact it would have!

Grab yourself a coffee (or a wine!) because this might take a bit longer than a few minutes….


All sessions returned!

We launched our COGS Tik Tok account (@crawleyoldgirls) although we’re still trying to get organised with it!  Hopefully, we’ll get more content out in 2023.  If you have any ideas for us, let us know!

Funding was received from the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Legacy Programme for our Walking Football sessions to help with the venue costs for 6 months and we produced a video of our session so woman could be inspired to come along.  Our Walking Football celebrated its second anniversary, on 20th January.

We also launched the details for #COGSEUROFEST22.

Active Sussex launched a cohort called “Ladies Living Well in Later Life” which we were involved in, talking about activity for women 65+.  Viv, one of our inspiring COGS (aged 66 at the time, now 67!) became a This Girl Can Sussex Champion and after completing the FA Playmaker, assisted Tracey to coach a Walking Football session in the absence of another coach.  You can read that below:

Our AGM was held and we were very happy to announce a mini-COG was born on the 25th to Kerry & Ashley J.


We recorded some film which would be included in the Arts & Heritage National Anthem Project for #WEURO2022.  There were three questions to encourage everyone to send in their words to be involved in the National Anthem which would be produced by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

A special day where the COGS were flag bearers at Crawley Town vs. Hartlepool.  A change from the youth teams who take part!

A record 11 new players played in their first competitive games at the Sussex County FA Women’s Recreational Football Festival, which included 5 teams of players.  One snuck off so there are only 10 in the photo!  Well done, ladies!


The UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Arts & Heritage RPO National Anthem was released.  See below for the story behind the Tournament Anthem.

The COGS raised a £350 donation for Ukraine and it was doubled by donating it to the DEC Charity Fund.

For International Women’s Day, we featured 2 of our COGS, Debbie & Gillian and found out how inspiring they are.  You can read their stories here:



We were also invited to the European Parliament for a special evening organised by the wonderful Caterina Loriggio, Creative Director of the Arts & Heritage Programme, who personally organised, with Jean Williams, an event – “Gamechangers – The Players who Pioneered the Future of Women’s Football”.  The panel included:  Rose Reilly MBE, Pia Sundhage, Kerry Davis & 2 Manchester Corinthian players Margaret Shepherd and Margaret Whitworth.  The evening was filled with tales from years ago and it was a fantastic, informative evening celebrating those women who were pioneers of the game.

After the success of all the IWD events, it was time to head to Wembley for the inaugrual Women in Football – Be Inspired Conference.  What a line up, what a great venue and fantastic panel events.  With Emma Hayes making the keynote speech and so many other inspiring women (and male allies) in the room, it was a day that’s going to take some beating in 2023!

It wasn’t just all visiting events in March, we got to play some football too and for the first time in Sussex, there was a Walking Football Festival organised by us and Claire from Newhaven Vets.  We made it into a fun Festival after wanting to have a friendly and then we invited the Legacy Programme to join us.  It was a brilliant day with lots of women playing in their first competitive Walking Football games.

We also took a COGS contingent to the The Hawth theatre to see a play which was written and produced by the University of Chichester.  Atalanta Forever was a story about a Yorkshire Women’s Football team who defied the FA Ban in the 1920s to learn to play football and play against the Dick, Kerr Ladies.  It was a fantastic performance!

Sharon Muxworthy (FA’s Regional Coach Development Officer) arranged for the Brighton Women’s Team to sign some cards, which were given to Tracey & Viv as appreciation for their coaching journeys so far.  Sharon wrote “For being inspiring and using your new coaching qualifications to enable women to play football”.  How lovely!

For Mother’s Day, we featured 3 of our COGS, Lisa, Nicola and Susan as well as Lisa’s daughter Aimee to show three generations of one family were now playing football.  You can read their inspiring story here:

On the 28th March we ran the second of our Tackling Inequalities – Women’s Community Day Programme, in Bewbush with the Sussex Cricket Foundation. It was 100 days until #WEURO2022 started so we celebrated that at the same time with some extra cones! It didn’t go as well as we wanted it to but we live and learn…

Finally, in March, we all got together for a celebration of Carol’s BEM Ceremony at Crawley Town FC, after the announcement in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021.  What a day!

The day was topped off with a wonderful poem from Tracey!

It was an honour to be asked to go on to the Sport Sister podcast with Natalie Doyle.  We decided the episode should be called “You’re Never Too Old For Sport”.  Have a listen here:


A feature in Feel Good You magazine was an exciting moment in April.

We were invited by the Palace for Life Foundation to attend their celebrations of one year of Recreational Football by playing at the Palace Academy.  We had a great day just enjoying playing in a fun environment and met some brilliant women.

On the 16th, we celebrated our 7th Birthday.  Amazing to think how far we’ve come in 7 years!

We had to keep this next event a secret, until it was transmitted, but after some auditions, pieces of writing and lots of Zoom calls, Carol was chosen to be one of the 3 women who were to be featured in a new advert for Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice.  The premise of the advert was “Passion, power and positivity” of some “older” women showing “Ooomph!” during their activity.  We filmed the part of the advert with some COGS and a great afternoon was had by all working with the Meldrum Dent team.  It was fun, professional and intriguing at the time to see what would come of the filming.

The advert was commissioned to be shown for another year after it’s initial showing and will be on your screens until October 2023!  We’ve lost track of the number of people who have said they’ve seen it so hopefully that helps with the campaign!    Here it is:

We also had some fun from Tracey with her “rapping”!  We love this!


On the 2nd May, we had another mini-COG (Jacob) delivered to Nicola & her partner!  Congrats!

With the situation heightened in Ukraine, our friends at Lewes Women’s Vets arranged for a fundraiser Round Robin with us and Eastbourne Borough Rec. Women and we had a brilliant time playing some 11v11s.  Lots raised, fun had and it didn’t rain!


Trying hard not to make this about me but was a little bit proud of this one!

June was all about the preparation for UEFA Women’s EURO 2022!  With Legacy Programme meetings starting in November 2019, there was just one month to go to the Tournament!

The beginning of June started a month of WEURO2022 promotion and build up.  The first Legacy event was a Be Inspired Panel Evening at The Amex, where Carol was a panelist.  It was a good evening with lots of networking!

Next, the brilliant “Goal Power” Exhibition at the Brighton Museum, which was curated by Jody East, had its Preview Evening and we were lucky enough to be invited.  What a fantastic exhibition!

The Guardian ran a story on Women’s Rec. Football which we organised at the Sussex FA Women’s Rec. Festival.  You can read it here:

The next Sussex Rec. Festival had another 5 COGS who played in their first competitive games.  This is a great Festival for those who want to play in their first competitive games as they’re just for fun!

Near the end of June and with a couple of weeks to go, Brighton and Hove were the next Host City to host the WEURO2022 Official Roadshow, on Hove Lawns.   The COGS were privileged to help out and have a few minutes on the stage to talk about our wonderful players who attended.  A fantastic event and the excitement was building for the Tournament.

By the end of June, most of the work during the six months leading up to #COGSEUROFEST had been completed.  The programmes were received and things became a little more real.  Less than 2 weeks to go!


This could be a long one and was mainly spent with lots of COGS supporting the Lionesses around the country, helping promote the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Legacy and running our own #COGSEUROFEST22 Women’s Rec. Festival.

It started with the launch of the auction of 3 Lioness’ England shirts, which were donated to us by Mark Corrigan, Stephen Darby’s Uncle.  We raised £400 for the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation through the generosity of those who bid for them.  Thank you!

6th July – The first game of WEURO2022 at Old Trafford vs. Austria and a 1-0 win.  We also contributed to the Austrian TV channel ORF, Heimspiel programme for a piece on over 50s being able to play football, for their magazine show.

With the first game done, we held #COGSEUROFEST22 on the 10th July, so that any players had the opportunity to go the Norway game at Brighton on the 11th.

After 6 months of planning, #COGSEUROFEST22 was here!  It was very hot but over 400 women over 30 turned up to just play friendly football for the day.  Teams came from all over the country, made new friends, saw old friends, had fun and won a few awards!  It wasn’t a tournament; it was a fun festival and we hosted 42 teams.  Organised by women, officiated by women, for women. You can read all about it here:

If there are a few photos to sum up the day, here they are.

At #COGSEUROFEST22, we partnered with IDA Sports, who attended #COGSEUROFEST22 with their research project, for sports shoes for “older” women. Women over 50 were encouraged to have their feet scanned (even after playing in the heat!) so that sports shoes could be produced, specifically for “older” women.  There was a great turnout.

We also hosted a Finnish TV news company, YLE, who attended #COGSEUROFEST22 and filmed a piece on Women’s Rec. Football, which was shown during the Norway game.

In total, with the auction money, we raised £1323.05 for charity through the raffle and a kind donation from one of the referees’ Dad.  Amazing!

11th July – The second Group game for England vs. Norway ended in an incredible 8-0 win.

This tweet did make us laugh!

15th July – The second Group game at Southampton’s St. Mary’s Stadium against Northern Ireland.  Another resounding win of 5-0 to England and it’s through to the Quarter Finals.

20th July – It was another date with the Brighton Community Stadium for the knock out QF with England vs. Spain.  A tense game with every emotion thrown in and who didn’t go mad when Georgia Stanway scored?!  What a great night that many COGS went to and will never forget!  A 2-1 win aet and one of our COGS, Ana, was asked to be interviewed by a Spanish TV company, before the game.

21st July – We were invited to a UEFA #WePlayStrong Women’s Football event and joined with some other members of the grassroots Women’s Football community, at TOCA Social, to talk about where Women’s Football will be in 10 years’ time.  It was a fantastic event and very thought provoking.  Not only did we go into groups to discuss things such as Web3 but we also got to play some games with friends.

With the final game at Brighton now finished, our 2 COGS Fatima & Viv had now completed their WEURO2022 volunteering, at the Brighton & Hove Community Stadium.  Well done, ladies!

24th July – A first ever tournament run by the group SWIFTS was held as part of the Legacy and with one team entered, they came second!  Well done, COGS!

24th July – Some COGS headed to Trafalgar Square to watch the WEURO2022 showing of “Bend it Like Beckham”.  It was still very hot!

26th July – The next game was the SF at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium.  Who would have thought that a 4-0 win against Sweden was going to happen, especially with that back heel from Alessio Russo!  What a night that meant a date with Wembley on the 31st July was booked.  Just before the trip to Sheffield began, a spot on BBC Live News…

We couldn’t resist a bit of singing at the end either.  What brilliant celebrations!

31st July – A day which will go down in history.  The history makers, record breakers and game-changers who we had been watching and planning Legacy events since 2019, gave the whole country one of the moments that many of us will never forget.   So many of our Women’s Rec. friends went as well as the COGS throughout the whole tournament and we all have memories to last a lifetime!


Some COGS were invited to play in a fans’ game against the owners of Crawley Town, WAGMI United.  The Crawley Town Supporters Alliance organised a team with different groups of supporters to take on the owners.  It was a fun afternoon with pizza!

A privilege to be asked to write a piece for Women in Football for their Guest Feature.

“Women’s Recreational Football and the “Missed Generation” can be read here:

For the first time, we had a Mum and Daughter at our Walking Football training session playing together.  Susan and Nicola both show that you’re never too old and it’s definitely never too late to start playing football, together!

We had another evening at Horsham – football, friends and a bar is really all it’s about isn’t it!

After some research and a visit from Rachel Roberts from the Offside Rule, Rachel published a fantastic article on their website entitled “Essential COGS at the Wheel”.  You can have a read here:

Women in Football – the fantastic organisation for those working in football, held an event “Football Came Home” and the panel was a particularly special one.   What a brilliant evening!


The first Legacy Legends Walking Football Festival was held in Brighton and got together groups of Walking Football teams from around Sussex for a fun evening of non-competitive football.

Sadly, on September 8th, we lost Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  We took some flowers to put on the Buckingham Palace gates on behalf of all the COGS.  Rest in peace, Ma’am.


The wettest and coldest night for the Sussex FA Women’s Rec. Festival.  We’re quite used to getting soaked but this was torrential!

Trips to Wembley and Brighton for some COGS and the flag, for more Lionesses’ matches.  England vs. USA at Wembley and England vs. the Czech Republic in Brighton.

Another proud moment as Pauline aka “Rock” deputised as assistant coach to Tracey, at Walking Football.  Having completed the FA Playmaker, Pauline helped Tracey with the session.  Well done, Rock!

A Female Coaches Evening was held at Sussex FA and named “So Good, so good, so good”, by Jade after the impact of WEURO2022.   It was really well attended with 5 COGS coaches picking up some valuable tips and information.

How far can the COGS flag go, was the question that got answered at the FIFA WWC 2023 Draw on 22nd October.  All the way to Australia to be shown at the World Cup Draw Show!  When it came to talking about England, this is the graphic that was up for all the world to see.  Amazing!

The first of the Surrey FA’s Walking Football 4 part Festival took place at the CPFC Academy Training Ground and was a brilliant day of mixing with other players from different teams and playing Walking Football.  It was also Lynn & Hazel’s first ever Walking Football matches and you can tell by Hazel’s face that they loved it, even after being very nervous when they turned up.  We’re looking forward to the other 3 parts!


Playing the Bromley Belles in a friendly at Bromley FC was great fun and it was fantastic to see the new facilities there.  Oh how we wish we had some!


A month full of dodgy weather and not many sessions due to the freezing temperatures.  We did manage to have a great time at our Christmas Party, which also doubled up as watching England lose to France in the Men’s World Cup.

A great night where we celebrated all that’s good at COGS with some Awards.  Each session voted for its own Player of the Session and the following people came out as winners:

Walking Football – Margaret O’Nions

Beginners – Kim Winson

Beginners/Intermediate – Viv Moore

Intermediate & Advanced – Sam Barton

The COGS Alkira Inspirational Award went to Viv Moore.  Viv has inspired everyone this year and before with her enthusiasm, dedication to COGS and all round kindness to everyone, not to mention her football skills!

Rebecca Holloway – Director – Alkira Services Ltd. (l) and Viv Moore (r) with the COGS Alkira Inspiration Award, which was kindly donated by Rebecca in 2021.

And finally, we have had many women join us at COGS over the last year, lots who haven’t been specifically featured so here are a few session/squad photos from throughout the year where we hope mostly everyone has been included!



It’s never too late to start playing football

You’re never too old to learn

It’s never too late to put on some boots

Whether you’re a beginner or want to return!