NATIONAL CHILDREN’S FOOTBALL WEEK PILOT
1st – 11th JUNE 2011
• Aims of the week
• Who was involved?
• Press / Multi-Media
• South London children said?
• How much work was involved?
NCFA was founded by Ernie Brennan and formalized in 2008 under the guidance of National Children’s Bureau. Since its conception NCFA is now in a position where it is part of an extensive stakeholder network has the official support of the Football Association, PFA and Football League Trust (amongst many others) and has over 50 key stakeholders. NCFA aims to ensure that children’s football play is safe, fun and engaging. Details of the constitution can be found on the website. Membership is free. NCFA designated a week to pilot National Children’s Football Week whereby the world of football and families could get together and celebrate the children’s game.
A brief introduction to the Football Week itself
National Children’s Football Week (NCFW) wants to raise the profile of all the good work undertaken by organisations that use football as a vehicle to help communities be a better place. NCFW is as much about having fun as it is about highlighting the children’s game. We want the world to know that all children can play a game of football without the stress related issues so often impinged upon their game.
To encourage football volunteers across all levels of the game to come together and provide a family environment facilitating FREE football for all children. NCFW provides children access to football and encourages families to take part and enjoy a fun healthy activity. NCFW supports community cohesion and uniting families, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, disability and background.
• To promote intergenerational relationships.
Output: Encourage football volunteers to come together and provide a family environment facilitating free football for all children. The information below each stated aim can also be used to develop the outcomes.
Outcome: In achieving this aim, the outcome is that intergenerational relationships are strengthened, particularly in areas where such relationships are frequently under stress.
• To celebrate the children’s game in its many forms.
Output: A series of family football activities across a week of activity.
Outcome: An increase in community cohesion and social inclusion
Football played in a family environment brings families and the extended family closer together. Feedback from parents that took part in the Family Skills Project http://www.childrensfootballalliance.com/arsenal.aspx confirms that football can be a positive activity that supports family values.
Who was involved?
Children 5- 16 took part playing football on parks, playgrounds and club pitches. Volunteers from community football clubs, organisations and schools supported the event the majority of which were FREE. In one case Tesco Faversham helped provide some funding to enable the event to be free for over 80 children in Faversham, Kent.
- How did they become involved?
- How many children took part?
- What did they do?
How did they become involved? A number of NCFA stakeholders volunteered their time to facilitate events in their communities. Volunteers were steered towards the NCFA website whereby they could download FREE posters, a press release, leaflets and stickers promoting Family Football for Fun.
How many children took part?
What did they do?
Many children organised their own games. For example; South London (Croydon) facilitated turn up and play. All events played age appropriate football. Children that played structured football played mixed ability and mixed gender in a round robin format they also played in mixed teams. Many children that have not played for clubs before got to play team football.
Press & Multi-Media.
NCFW Press packages were available to down load for free from the National Children’s Football Alliance website. Volunteers were encourage to use the marketing materials to promote their events which
- Local press
Local press covered stories celebrating the feel good factor generated by volunteers in communities.
Marketing NCFW was undertaken by Birbeck College’s NCFA intern Ruta Zydelyte. Over three hundred grass roots football volunteers were sent e-leaflets encouraging support for family football fun. Volunteers advertised their events through schools and their football club’s networks.
|11/05/11 – 11/06/11||Website hits||1,028|
|11/05/11 – 11/06/11||Phone enquiries||30 (approx)|
|11/05/11 – 11/06/11||Email enquiries||10|
|11/05/11 – 11/06/11||20|
Children outside the radar of associated football took part in child friendly community games free from the pressures so often associated with league football. Football played in family environments supported by local schools and clubs acted as the vehicle for highlighting intergenerational relationships, social inclusion and community cohesion.
- Annual event
- Public sector
- Private sector
Annual events give communities the opportunity to provide access to all children to play football. The potential to roll out National Children’s Football Week on a large scale across the country is apparent in the interest shown from diverse communities. Parent organisations, professional football clubs, youth clubs, sports associations and businesses have an invested interest to support National Children’s Football Week in their communities. Timing of the event (June) allows children to be the focus of their game. The adult game takes a summer break which frees up a short time to concentrate on the children’s game.
Opportunities to sponsor the NCFW are to be explored nationally and apparent locally. For example Faversham Town Elizabethans (girls) Football Club were sponsored by Tesco Faversham’s community fund which enabled them to host their children’s football week free at the Queen Elizabeths Grammar School, Faversham.
Public sector. In terms of interest shown by the public sector we received positive support from local some councils. For instance Cotswold District Council was unable to support the National Children’s Football Week in June so they have in partnership with Cirencester’s Deer Park School supported a NCFA FREE Community Football Day Wednesday 10th August.
Private sector. NCFW generated enquires for possible future support from Tesco in the Community, Fair Corporation and Soccer IQ.
South London children said
1. I am …….. years old. 5 = 1 child; 7=4 children; 8=2 children; 9=2 children; 10=5 children; 11=1 child; 12=4 children.
2. I came today with… Mum = 10 children; dad=2 children; mum & dad=2 children; on own=2 children; with friend’s dad=3 children.
3. I play league football for a club yes/no. Yes=4 children (all play for Storm Lightning U12s; no=15 children.
4. Did you enjoy today yes/no Yes = 19 children no=0 children!
Why? because I had good skills; because it’s fun skilling up; because I scored 2 goals; because football is fun; because I just like football; I like scoring goals; because I kept on skilling up everyone; it was fun; because I got to play lots of football; because I was good and it was fun; because it’s fun; because it was fun and I enjoy playing football; it was fun; because I like playing football; because we played well together.
5. Would you come again? yes/no yes=19, no=0
6. I play football because… I like it; it keeps you fit; I love football and like playing it; I enjoy it, it is fun and I have done it for a long time; it is fun; it is a good sport that I am good at and my team is very supportive; I enjoy it; I like it; It’s fun; it’s a fun sport; I have it as a hobby; it’s really fun; I like my team; it is fun; because it is good when you run around the pitch and score goals; it is fun and challenging.
How much work was involved?
|03/01/11 – 11/06/11||6 months||Planning / Admin / Meetings
Design / Website/ Travel
Can you put an estimate on how much time you spent on it and how much that would cost?
The potential to roll out National Children’s Football Week (NCFW) on a large scale across the country is apparent in the interest shown from diverse communities across the country that took part in the pilot. Parent organisations, professional football clubs, youth clubs, sports associations and businesses have an invested interest to support National Children’s Football Week in their communities. Timing of the event (June) allows children to be the focus of their game. The adult game takes a summer break which frees up a short time to concentrate on children’s football for fun.
There is an opportunity to do further evaluation through the NCFA stakeholders extensive networks which we hope to engage on the back of this successful pilot after next year’s event. There is feedback from children that took part in South London’s event available on request to those organisations that feel they might like to support NCFW 2012.
NCFW engaged diverse communities through the children’s game. Families took part at a level of football for fun. This brought young and old together in support of the children’s game.
Measuring the health and well-being scale can be found in family participation. Although this was not high in the pilot scheme’s initial targets the significant attendance of girls and special needs children playing football is a barometer for further support.
NCFW provides access for all children to play football and promotes the importance of family inclusion. The week brought together many young and older people at a level so often over looked by the football fraternity.