What is #FREEvFREE?

#FREEvFREE is the NCFA’s national campaign to kickstart free play football with friends, in school, in your clubs, in the community. The NCFA aims to act as an inspirational hub, both promoting free play and inspiring other people to share their projects with us.

What is free play?

Free play is child-led football. It is not coached.

Free play is not directed by adults. Adults can ensure that free play takes place in a safe environment, but the rest is up to the kids who play.

Free play is for everyone.

Free play is FREE!


Why is free play important?

There’s lots of evidence that play is critical to childhood development, engagement and fun. Kids have had a difficult year and play is now more important than ever. We want to encourage opportunities for kids to play, their game, their way, for FREE.

Does it cost to deliver free play sessions?

No, anyone can put on a free play session for kids. This can be done most safely through existing structures like community groups, clubs and schools as safeguarding and child welfare are paramount concerns. Long-term, if you want to offer a programme of free play football, it is a good idea to investigate local funding. There are some examples on this list of possible grant funders.

How do you become part of the campaign?

The NCFA aims to encourage free play and highlight free play projects that you are running around the country. We have provided some simple suggestions for free play from our National Children’s Football Week projects here.

Let us know if you are running free play football projects and we will share your project details on our website.

Please remember that the responsibility for the safe running of the project remains with YOU – the project organisers. The NCFA is not responsible for any free play projects that are not specifically authorised and run by the NCFA Committee.

Are kids involved in this campaign?

We have young people involved at every level of this national campaign from ideas to leaflet design. They have provided some top tips on free play football:

  • Make it free
  • Make it fun
  • Keep out of our way
  • Let us us play!


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