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Posted by: | Posted on: November 8, 2017

Anti-Bullying Football Games

Help raise awareness of bullying on Wear Blue Day – 10 November 2017

 As you know the effects of bullying can have a massive impact on all individuals, whether at school, work, college or socially. The impact of bullying can last a lifetime.

Bullying UK, part of Family Lives, works all year round on anti-bullying campaigns, and provides support to those who are experiencing bullying through our helpline and online advice. We will be running our successful Wear Blue Day for the third year and we would like your school to be involved and help raise awareness of bullying.

Wear Blue Day can be anything from a blue dress-down day, blue jeans, blue top or you could wear something adventurous and stand out for bullying! It is very simple, all you have to do is wear something blue and pop a pound (or more) in a bucket! You can also purchase our Bullying UK blue wristbands as part of your day too. (Wristbands are 50p each incl VAT, minimum order of 50. P&P is extra).

If you would like to be a part of Wear Blue Day, please sign up for further information on our simple Wear Blue registration form. Help us make this Wear Blue Day the biggest yet!

Please feel free to use any of our anti-bullying week resources, which include downloadable posters, flash cards, debate activity, comic strips and problem pages to use in the classroom. We also have presentations, interactive anti-bullying videos, poster and more. For more information, please visit our anti-bullying week 2017 page for updates.

We would love to see your pictures of your Wear Blue Day, fundraising events or wearing our amazing wristbands, so please connect with us on social media using #wearblueday #stopbullying and visit us on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, email us

Posted by: | Posted on: November 8, 2017

Smells Familiar

Chris Johnson contacted The NCFA with a story that will smell familiar with the grassroots fraternity.

Chris, wrote; do you fancy running a story about the youth football pitches at Grange Paddocks, Bishops Stortford, Herts?

I’ve copied *********** who is on the board of the F.A into this email, as I had a long conversation about grassroots football and why England cannot produce world-class footballers when I picked him up in my taxi last year.

East Herts council pay a grounds maintenance company an absolute fortune to maintain the football pitches at Grange Paddocks, I spoke to ********** several months ago who actually said the football pitches were in a good state – I think ******** needs to get out of those ivory towers a little more.

Sunday 29th October – there were dangerous holes in the pitches that the maintenance company hadn’t checked, the grass hadn’t been cut for at least 3-4 weeks and was longer than the 75mm contracted length, there was dog turd that should have been cleared – given these pitches cost about £65 per game to rent – £65 quid for this garbage is unacceptable!!

How can kids ever learn to play football if these contractors “rinse” tax-payers cash and civil servants fail to do their jobs properly?

This is the general standard – not good enough – East Herts pay the contractor hundreds of thousands of pounds for this garbage.

…….this is simply not acceptable kids will be injured – East Herts Council, Grange Paddocks & the contractor should all hang their heads in shame.


Posted by: | Posted on: November 8, 2017

Grass Roots Football ID Card

Posted by: | Posted on: November 8, 2017

Working With Parents in Sport

At a time when parents have become more demanding of their children’s sporting careers from such a young age the relationship between coaches, parents and some governing bodies appear fractured to say the least.
‘Working with Parents in sport’ is a UK based company helping parents give their child the best possible sporting experience.
The increased coverage and exposure of leading sportspeople has meant more and more parents wish for that for their child from the moment they show a modicum of ability, leading to them living their life through their child.
Twenty years ago children went out to play sport for the fun of the game and if they became successful and were able to make a living from it then that was great. It was not the primary motivation for parents setting out their children on their sporting careers.
Many parents from the moment they see their child in sports kit and they begin to look like mini-adults their expectation of their child has increased considerably.
The increased media coverage, analysis on the sky sports channels has meant many parents who have no experience in the field of coaching suddenly think they can assist and coach their child, this can lead to a toxic mix between coach and parent and ultimately the child suffers.
As obesity rates continue to rise in the UK, many young people are giving up sport in their teenage years due to some of the pressures, behaviours put on them by parents during their formative years and they simply fall out of love with sport.
We all have a responsibility to address this. Sport and physical activity should be seen as a lifetime investment for our children, not a short term gain.
In the UK we need to go back to basics and see sport for what it is, a chance for our children to learn experiences for life.
Teamwork, dealing with adversity, friendships, sportsmanship are all valuable traits in life and not just in sport.

Gordon Maclelland

We need to work hard to link the triangle back together. The working relationship between parent, coach and child in the hope that we can give the next generation of children every chance of maximising all the positives that sport has to offer.
Gordon MacLelland set up ‘Working with Parents in Sport’ after 20 years as a teacher and as a coach to all age levels from 7 year olds to Adults.
He has a BA/Hons degree in Sports Science from University College Chester and a PGCE from Lancaster University.
He is a qualified teacher and has been Director of Sport at an independent prep school in the UK for the last 10 years. He has worked in schools in both the UK and New Zealand for the last 16 years.
He is the author of two books, ‘Parenting in Football’ and the ‘Sporting Do’s and Don’ts- A pocket guide for parents of children in sport.’
In recent times he has become a parent to two children and the early sporting experiences of his children prompted him to set up the company as well as write the two books above.
When he speaks he brings a wealth of experience to working with parents gathered through 20 years as a teacher and coach as well as a parent currently involved in children’s sport.

Click on the link below to find out more:

07897 517671

Posted by: | Posted on: August 15, 2017

Kick the corporate out of children’s football.

Kick The Corporate Out of Children’s Football was the the feedback from parents, facilitators and volunteers, at this year’s National Children’s Football Week’s Free V Free.  An increasing realisation of the brandification of the children’s game is fueling claims that football is the bully of sport on the school play ground.  ‘If you are no good at football you are no good at sport.’, said, Jason Swift, parent, Liverpool.

Pester power is the ability of children to pressurize their parents into buying them products, especially items advertised in the media. Football brands care little for the development of our children.  It is not in the interests of professional football clubs to safe guard our children’s parents from branding their little ones as young as two weeks old.  From the moment children are born they are branded and the football fraternity claim another unsuspecting life-long product wearing walking advertisement.

In the recent decade we experienced a tremendous shift in social media as well as in its usage. One of the primary objectives of social media is to increase brand awareness through building stronger relationships between companies and customers.  Marketing is now more intense than ever.

What’s the problem?  

Manufacturing children for a football system brings a myriad of issues that don’t seem to figure in the grand scheme of things.  If the father was brought up on Derby County then his son will have no choice or if mum is a life-long Chelsea fan then her daughter will follow suit.  Keep it in the family!  It pays to brand early – very early!

Over the years The NCFA receive concerns from parents about their children being under pressure to buy the latest football kit, boots, etc. The fall-out at home and at school can be stressful for all concerned.  Are you a parent with a view on this matter?  If so – let us know about it and answer the following questions by sharing your opinions by emailing them to: 

  1. As you child ever been bullied at football.  If so – where?  On the play ground, at a football club or other place?  What was the cause of bullying?

  2. Have you been pestered by your child to buy any football regalia / paraphernalia?  If yes, what was it?

  3. What should be done to protect children from branding?



Posted by: | Posted on: July 31, 2017




Three of the best

National Children’s Football Week hosted by Don’t X The Line at Park Brow Community Primary School, Liverpool, was a success with over 200 children and parents attending this year’s Free V Free event.  Mal Lee, organiser and founder of DXTL, said, ‘We have received enquiries from far and wide about this year’s event. The demand has been overwhelming.  

Free v Free Week 12th to 20th July, 2017

By David Ramzan NCFA SEN Officer

As I work at a special needs school I know how difficult it can be for students to access football activities outside of school hours, so as part of the NCFA Free v Free we held a week of football during the school day from 12th to 20th July, before the school year ended. All the children were invited to take part and time was made for a series of games to be played each day on the playground and school field.

Students from sixth form helped out organise the teams and matches. Although the school has a football field with goals, we also played some games where goals were made up from jumpers and coats and there weren’t any side lines or coned areas. The youngsters who have some mobility difficulties playing on grass took part in some fun games in the school MUGA and then took part in a penalty shoot out against the teachers. On the last day of the Free v Free School week the juniors organised their own game, picked the sides and played without any adult instruction, cheered on by teachers and teaching assistants. The event overall was a very enjoyable experience for all those who took part during the week of fun football.

Although Kent now has one of the largest Pan-disability football leagues in the country, many youngsters with SEN/disabilities are still not able to access football simply because of travel restrictions and distance from venues where SEN/Disability league football is played. At Wyvern SEN School we hold a weekly after school football club, but for students who live some distance from the school who use school transport, if parents/carers are unable to pick their children up afterwards, then they are not able take part. Events such as the NCFA Free v Free Week of Football offers children of all abilities the opportunity to play football for free, which is how the game should be played.

Frame Football, goes from strength to strength at Kings Hills F.C. There is clearly a need to integrate all forms of young peoples football. There is also a need to highlight the importance of providing football for free for special needs players.  Frame football makes the point for Free v Free in National Children’s Football Week. 

Posted by: | Posted on: April 25, 2017

Frame Football

Football is a game enjoyed by millions all around the world every day and now a game that children with all sorts of disabilities can also participate in and enjoy. Children who go to main stream schools who struggle with PE and playground activities with their friends because of disabilities like cerebral palsy, visual impairments, hearing issues or learning disabilities of all kinds. We give those children a football, include, involve and encourage them to do what kids love to do, play, have fun and feel part of something.

When children with disabilities get involved in able bodied football it limits their involvement. Some get excluded, some can’t cope with the strength required to play and some just can’t get involved due to the speed of the game. With Frame Football all the children are participating and included within the same environment. They are treated fairly and equally. The children do not feel like the odd one out as they are playing on a level playing field. It means a great deal to be playing with other children with disabilities rather than struggling to try and keep up as they are the only one among 20 able bodied playing. Everything from the type of football used, the special game frames, the time spent playing and the rules of the game have been specially adapted to enhance the game and make it unique and more importantly making it able to be played by children with all sorts of disabilities and issues.


About us

Frame Football was founded on 4th July 2015 from the Coundon Court FC Frame Football team in Coventry who at the time were the only Frame Football team in the country. We have now become an Association and boast of many affiliated teams all across the UK and even overseas.  We are a volunteer group of football coaches, volunteers and parents who have come together to form an Association with the goal of providing football tournaments and games for players who use walker style frames. We now hold National Tournaments three times a year at St George’s Park – national football centre in which the children love to get involved in and compete for trophies and medals to treasure from their day.

The Association has worked closely with Quest88 to pursue a new bespoke Frame Football specific Frame. These “game frames” are available to buy and the Frame Football Association continue to buy and donate frames to players through competitions or through a player unable to participate due to financial circumstances.

Frame Football gives a chance, a chance to change a life. It puts a smile on a face. Children want to play just like their hero’s on TV and we support and give that opportunity. As a non-profit organisation we are constantly relying on fundraisers and donations to continue the growth of this amazing sport. Every single penny raised goes back into helping children by buying equipment and arranging tournaments. If you can help in any way please get in touch.

For more information or to get involved please visit our website, contact us via social media or email us. We will put you in touch with your nearest club and more importantly start your frame football experience.

“The only frame that should stop you from scoring is a goal frame”

Posted by: | Posted on: March 6, 2017


Posted by: | Posted on: February 5, 2017

Bullying In Football

Advice for parents about bullying in sports

Bullying UK, part of Family Lives, receives complaints about what happens on and off the sports pitch too. It isn’t just other players who can cause problems, but sometimes parents, coaches and team managers can also be capable of bullying behaviour.

Pressure from mums and dads

Research shows that many youngsters give up football because of the stress of parental pressure, the shouting and taunts from the touchline. Football development officers often feel fed up with parents’ behaviour with mini soccer being turned into a mega stress with a ‘win at all costs’ attitude.

If parents are taking the game more seriously than they should, shouting vociferous encouragement from the side, displaying excessive disappointment at the missed goal and of course abuse or invasion of the pitch, this should not be tolerated and neither should abuse between rival team parents in the heat of the game.

Set a good example

If you’re a parent think about the example you’re setting to your child and other families. A friend of Bullying UK who managed a youth soccer team in Leeds told of one match where there was so much trouble that the police had to be called and they refused to let parents leave until they’d taken their car registration numbers. On another occasion when he substituted a player, the substituted boy’s father, who was a linesman, threw down his flag in a display of petulance and shouted to his son: “Come on Thomas, we’re going home”.

The sports mad parent may be pushing their son or daughter very hard and making unreasonable demands. Parents need to know that they can be guilty of bullying too and that constructive criticism about the effort they put in is acceptable but personal negative comments are not and neither is punishment for an off day.

If your child is being bullied in his/her sports club then talk to the coach or manager about it and ask them to make other staff aware of the problem. Ask for the matter to be dealt with discretely. If the coach catches the bully in action they can’t accuse the victim of telling tales.

If the problem continues

If the problem continues and the club doesn’t seem sympathetic, ask if there is a complaints procedure and follow it. Clubs may have their own rules or guidance issued by the sport’s governing body and there may be appeal procedures over disciplinary matters.

If your complaint is about the coach you need to be fair and objective when making a complaint. Not every child will be picked for the team every week and it’s better to approach the coach in a friendly way to discuss any issues of concern. If you can’t resolve matters at club level you could consider taking it to the sport’s governing body.

How your child might feel

Remember that sport should be about fun and enjoyment and just because your child might not be as capable as another on the sports field doesn’t mean that they should be left out.  Sadly we know that this can happen and it can be heartbreaking for parents to watch their child having to sit on the sideline for excessive amounts of time, especially when they have attended training every week and have shown commitment to their club when others who are played haven’t.   If this continues to be an issue and you can see that your child obviously isn’t enjoying their activity anymore then you might have to think long and hard about whether they should continue.

No one wants to see their child upset or despondent and if getting to games is starting to feel more like a chore than a joy, then you definitely need to sit down with your child and have a chat about how you might find a way forward.  Focus on the positives – perhaps there is another club they can take a look at where things might not be so competitive, or another sport that they could try.  It’s imperative that you emphasise that they have done nothing wrong and don’t deserve to be treated in this way so they don’t blame themselves.

Of course you have the option of speaking to the club manager about this but try to remain calm and think about any impact this could have on your child in the future.  Try to find out how your child would feel about you having a word with the manager beforehand.

Posted by: | Posted on: February 5, 2017

Totally Runable

Natalie Jackson writes; we share a lot of synergies between what we do and how young people benefit. TR works with girls aged 7 upwards using running to build their confidence in sport, exercise and life. Natalie Jackson, Director, and Ex-sprinter and Olympian Emily Freeman, former UK no 1, now retired and working to inspire the next generation, firmly believe that the growing interest in running is having an effect on girls.

We work with girls age 7 up and with adult women – often school staff – using running as the tool to build confidence in sport, exercise and life. By approaching it in the right way anyone can improve their running and learn real lessons about themselves and the rest of their life.

Running is also something we have some serious experience in. We know what it takes to run at all levels – from adult beginner to Olympic athlete – and at all distances from sprints to marathons. We know what it takes to get started and we know how to turn consistent actions into results. We work with girls aged 7 upwards, both in and out of school, as well as with their mums and teachers. If you, your children or school want to get more active and make running part of your life – let’s do it together.

For more information contact:

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