Second Sussex Women’s Recreational Football Festival – 20th October 2017.

Over 100 women attended the second Women’s Recreational 6 a-side Football Festival, at Sussex County FA HQ at Lancing, on Friday, with 14 teams entered.  Compared to the first Festival in July, where 8 teams competed, this is a huge increase in participation for Women’s Recreational Football!  Both these Festivals have been run by Sussex County FA in conjunction with the local Sussex County Women and Girls Football League (SCWGFL).

After looking at the abilities of the teams who had entered, it was decided that there would be 2 Leagues, one for beginners/improvers who were new to the game (and those ranged from ladies playing in their first game to some who have been playing for just over 2 years) and the other League would be for more experienced players who had recently come back into the game.

The evening was very well organised and it was fantastic to see so many ladies just relishing the opportunity to play football.  It was also great to catch up with our old friends Lewes Ladies Vets, as well as Merstham Ladies and the other teams we met in July.  There weren’t any trophies, just medals for participation and everyone just came along to enjoy playing against each other, which is the spirit in which these Festivals are played.

Looking at how Women’s Recreational Football for beginners is growing, it was great to see the Turf Chicks team, which was recently set up by Kirsty Farley and Zoe Bingham, in Worthing.  This was the first time they had ever played in a Football Festival and by the smiles on their faces, we think they enjoyed it!  It was also great to see the Horsham Eagles who were entering their first tournament as well.  Roz Bivand, who was originally a Crawley Old Girl, found it difficult to juggle getting to Crawley from Horsham on a weekly basis (with everything else us women have to organise!) so with a lot of hard work she formed the Horsham Eagles and along with Matt McIntyre brought along their team for their first competitive games.  I think it’s safe to say that they thoroughly enjoyed it too!  There were also new teams entered for experienced players who have come back into the game and The Heath Hawkers along with FC Brighton made up the League with teams who had previously entered, in July.

The spirit in which these Festivals are played in is testament to the ladies who just feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to play and the atmosphere and camaraderie between the teams was brilliant.  After 5 games each, everyone got together for some team photos and were then presented with a medal each, for participating.

Then it was in to the Clubhouse for a social hour!

Well done Clare Nichols and the team at Sussex FA for the organisation and another successful step forward for Women’s Recreational Football in Sussex.

Here’s to the next one!