What happens when the sport stops?

In these uncertain times, sport across the country like most things has been suspended. The damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic is far greater than the financial concerns of anyone in sport, but like any business, and sport is business, financial loss will be felt by all sports teams, clubs and individual athletes across the globe.

The financial impact will vary depending on the wealth of those concerned. Big Premier League clubs for example will be able to swallow a large amount of the cash they will lose from ticket sales through commercial revenue and TV money whilst according to Forbes, the cancelled Wimbledon tennis tournament will be protected with a $141 million insurance payout.

When it comes to sport on a more local level, Beeston has a wide variety of different clubs, teams and other sporting activities which will have been affected by the national lockdown.

Caroline Bartliff, Chair of Beeston Badminton Club said, “the club had its last club night the week before lockdown. The numbers were very low on the last night as we knew it was coming. There will be a financial impact, although it’s summer season so we’d already cancelled our booking until May and will just slide it further if lockdown continues. We feel lucky we managed to pull in the Sport Relief event on the 12th March – raising £160.”

A statement from Chilwell Memorial Institute which includes Chilwell Tennis Club said, “Obviously, there will be a financial loss to the Institute and the individual clubs, but this is not expected to be crippling. For private hirers who run classes, this may be different. Some may find that they are unable to continue for various reasons.

“Meanwhile we urge our members and the wider community to take care, stay safe and look out for others, especially those on their own, who may need a chat by phone or email.”

At the end of the lockdown, a possible problem for teams and clubs across Beeston will be whether they see a decrease in membership figures or player numbers, as people lose interest and have other priorities after such a long period of time.

“If I’m honest, I’m expecting there to be a significant increase in numbers at parkrun, either with our regular parkrunners eager to be back to ‘normality’ and an opportunity to see friends again, or an influx of new runners as lots of Beeston folks seem to be out running as their one form of daily exercise” explains Beeston parkrun director, Alison Hogg.

“Beeston parkrun last took place on Saturday 14 March,” said Alison. “For us locally, as we are a free event, open to all and run by volunteers, there should be minimal impact on our activities. However, I’m not sure how the cancellations will affect the wider delivery of parkruns throughout the UK.”

“We have had to cancel tournaments, club competitions, and social events until the end of May, which unfortunately includes a national charity fundraising event for Macmillan.”

Elsewhere, Beatrice McGlen, Chairman of Nottingham Croquet Club based at Highfields Park, tells me that the crisis has happened just as their season was about to start.

“We have had to cancel tournaments, club competitions, and social events until the end of May, which unfortunately includes a national charity fundraising event for Macmillan. Early rounds of national inter-club competitions are also, at best, postponed. Tournaments are an important source of income for the club and players come from all over the country to compete. We have been amazed at the generosity of many of them who have donated their entry fees to the club when the events have been cancelled.”

With many people in self-isolation during this time, the social side of sport will be sorely missed, so people are finding new ways of keeping in touch with one another.

“We have a fairly active Facebook page so we’ve been endeavouring to post each week, either sharing general parkrun UK messages or sharing pictures and posts from Beeston parkrun over the past six years,” says Alison.

“We were due to celebrate our 6th birthday at the start of April when we planned a parkrun party and cakes. Instead, we played ‘guess the masked run director,’ for the core team of run directors. We’re in regular contact through WhatsApp and have had a meeting via Zoom.”

For the first time in Nottingham Croquet Club’s 91 year history they were forced to conduct their AGM by e-mail and post, whilst Beatrice says that they are continuing to contact people to see how they are coping.

“Regular club news updates are emailed to members and a ring round process is underway to make sure everyone is managing. Let us not forget though that some of our members are NHS staff, care workers, crucial IT staff and charity workers, all of whom are still working in this crisis and we salute their commitment to the well-being of all of us.”

The lockdown may have frozen all sport but it’s good to see that clubs and teams across Beeston are keeping in contact with members and have not been critically damaged by the loss of income. Let’s hope this remains the case and that some sense of normality is soon restored.

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Why Beeston Parkrun is showing no signs of slowing down

Parkrun has been around for a few years now, you’ve probably heard of it before and will know somebody who has taken part.

Founded in 2004, parkrun takes place in 705 different locations around the UK, with almost 7,000 clubs and over 2,000 runners. Impressive statistics for any mass participation sport.

It’s clear that parkrun has run off and become a regular part of people’s weeks and it’s not hard to see why when you consider the simplicity of it. You turn up on a Saturday morning, do the run and at the end, you get your time if you so wish.

The event wouldn’t be able to run without the help of volunteers. From marshalls to timekeepers, parkrun is a great event to get involved in if you don’t want to take part in the run itself.

The tailwalkers.

One of the unique volunteer roles that parkrun offers are the tail walkers, who take part each week from the back of the field so that everyone on the course is accounted for. It’s also a good way to ensure that anyone who takes part doesn’t finish last.

Beeston’s parkrun has around 500 participants during it’s busiest periods at the start of the year and takes place along the canal at Weirfields Recreation Ground. Nationally, few parkruns can say that they have a more picturesque setting particularly when it’s a bright, sunny day.

Alison Hogg is the event director of Beeston parkrun. Along with five other run directors, she leads the volunteers and does all the preparation for the Beeston event each week.

After Alison’s pre-race brief which includes explanations on the rules over photography and how to collect your time at the end of the race, the hundreds of parkrunners set off for the 5000-metre run, jog or walk.

“Everybody’s got new year’s resolutions going on and parkrun has really exploded, so we’ve started to see some of our largest attendances over the past couple of weeks,” says Alison.

“Parkrun is about being inclusive so we have anyone from very fast runners to those who want to go around with buggies. We’re quite buggy friendly because, with the route we’ve got, you can push a buggy around.

The volunteers who help to run Beeston parkrun. From the left – Carrie Barker, Sue Raine, Lucy Barker, Keith Pepper, Simon Hogg, Bethan Hogg, Freddie Thomas-Neher and Alison Hogg.

“It’s free, it’s accessible and it’s a great way to start your Saturday. You’re here at 9 and you can be finished by 10. Afterwards, you can go into Tony’s café for a coffee and breakfast. You’ve seen your mates, you’ve done your exercise for the day, what a great way to set yourself up for the weekend.”

Three years ago, Lisa Rull started parkrunning in preparation for the race for life, however, in the days leading up to the event, Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer after finding a lump in her armpit.

“I kept on coming to parkrun even when I was going through treatment. I still walked or ran it when I could. Beeston parkrun has been such a lifeline for me,” said Lisa.

“I’m on longer-term medication to keep me as healthy as possible, but fingers crossed. I had my slash, poison and burn, but I kept in contact with parkrun right the way through. It’s been fabulous for me.”

Taking part in parkrun isn’t just for those who want to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, it can also be a way to improve the lives of others, as Brandon Brown, whose wife works in the NHS, is doing by fundraising for the Nottingham Hospitals Charity.

“I’m 62, so to get to 63 I thought I would run 744 kilometres, 62 x 12 (months), and I’m going to try and raise £744 whilst doing it,” explains Brandon.

“I first got involved in parkrun through a running club and often you have to pay to do marathons. Once, when I visited my brother in law in Abu Dhabi, I thought about doing the marathon their but the entry fee is £120 and you have to start at four or five in the morning because of the heat, so parkrun is a brilliant idea because it’s free and also you don’t need to be a runner.”

It’s easy to see why parkrun is so popular and in a place like Beeston where community is important, it’s success is only going to continue.

To find out more about Beeston parkrun, go to www.parkrun.org.uk/beeston or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/beestonparkrun

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Beeston FC closer than ever to being able to build new clubhouse

Congratulations to Beeston FC! The bees have secured almost £500,000 from the Premier League and Football Association towards a new clubhouse, but a further £50,000 is still needed to complete this project.

Beeston FC have been trying to raise money to build a clubhouse since we first starting covering them at the beginning of last year when they acquired a 99-year lease for a plot of land on Trent Vale road.

Since then, the club were unsuccessful in a bid to receive £10,000 from the Aviva Community Fund, but that hasn’t deterred them and after being successfully awarded this fund from the Premier League and FA, they are now closer than ever to getting there.

The club plan to raise the remaining money in a variety of different ways, including erecting plaques on a wall with the names of those who have donated towards the site’s construction.

“The supporter’s wall will be a mixture of individuals and businesses,” said club chair, Charlie Walker. “so far we have raised around £100 from this.

“We’re also collecting some memories that people have of playing at the site from over the years, as there have been lots of people playing football, hockey, cricket and tennis, so we’re hoping to have some photographs of these memories in the clubhouse.”

The clock is ticking for Beeston FC, who need to raise the remaining 50K within the next six months, otherwise, the money that they have been awarded will be withdrawn.

Charlie tells me that the club are making good progress towards making the total and are hoping that the support from a combination of businesses, banks, local authorities and the community will see them reach that £50,000 total.

“We received £3800 from the Co-op, as part of their local community scheme and £2000 pounds from the Bank of England. We’re also speaking to Broxtowe Borough Council and Nottinghamshire County Council to try and apply for money from them and we’re approaching local businesses to see if they can support us. We’ll also be running some events in 2020, so look out for those.”

2020 promises to be a big year for Beeston Football Club and Charlie is conscious of how rare this opportunity is for them and the wider community of Beeston.

“The clubhouse will mean that we can increase the size of the club so that more children, boys and girls will be able to play football in the years ahead. We’re also planning to start a second men’s team, an adult women’s team and a couple of disability teams, so, there’s going be a lot more opportunities to play football.

“We’re determined to get it over the line as we’ve come so far and we will never get this offer again.”

If you are interested in supporting the clubs efforts by having your own plaque, email trentvalesports@mail.com or telephone Beeston FC committee member, Sarah Green on 07976 299229.

The gym that’s adding some muscle to Beeston

In an age of shrinking attention spans where people are trying to find new ways of keeping fit whilst having fun doing it, going to the gym is something which you may find repetitive. It often becomes something you force yourself to do without getting any real enjoyment from it, meaning that many will begin to go less or even stop going altogether. 

But there is one method of fitness which seems to keep people interested.

If you regularly lift weights or know people who do, then you would have probably heard of something called CrossFit. Far from being a new sport, CrossFit’s origins trace back to the start of the millennium with an American personal trainer called Greg Glassman, who helped open the first CrossFit gym in Seattle.

CrossFit is described on its official website in three steps. The workouts, including the varied exercise routines such as weightlifting and aerobic activities, the lifestyle, such as the nutritional part of the sport and finally the community, perhaps the most unique part of CrossFit which helps to define its popularity.

Beeston has its own CrossFit gym on Humber Road called Urban Outlaws, founded by Ash Fowler and Louis French who found out about his method of fitness training a decade ago.

“I was looking online at Olympic weightlifting and I stumbled across CrossFit,” said Ash.

“CrossFit has 33% of Olympic weightlifting in it and when you start searching online it starts popping up all over the place on social media, so we decided to carry that into our training.

“Me and Louis, will train together and throw in the CrossFit style movements alongside our Olympic weightlifting as well. That’s really how we started getting into it. We self-taught ourselves.”

CrossFit is more structured than your regular gym-going experience.

You may be wondering if CrossFit is for you but Ash says anyone can try it no matter what their physique is.

“CrossFit appeals to everyone. You could be a 16-year-old lad that’s trying to find a fitness method or our oldest member who is 72. Anyone can do this, any size, any shape. Strong has no size.”

So what will you get from CrossFit compared to going to a regular gym? Ash tells me it’s all about the detail.

“There isn’t really something out there that caters for your progression like this. If you go to a normal gym class everyone lifts the same, it’s very generic and there’s no progression whereas here, everything’s based on percentage; what you can lift compared to what I can lift.”

Ash’s fellow founder and owner Louis mentions that CrossFit is the perfect base for young people to develop if they want to become professional athletes in the future.

“Essentially, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning programme. If you’re learning CrossFit as a young person, you can learn how to lift weights and use your body to do gymnastic movements. Going forward, you can apply those to other sports because you’re more agile and coordinated.

“When I was at school, I was never particularly fit or strong. If you were to speak to any of my peers who knew me, they would never have thought I would be someone who is very fit and capable of the stuff I’m doing now.

“If I’d been doing CrossFit since I was at school, I think I could have had a lot of options in terms of what I could have done as a sport, whether it was being a rugby player, footballer, gymnast, weightlifter, anything, it gives you such a good base, because you practice everything. I think going forward for CrossFit, it would be good to be able to get it into schools,” said Louis.

Detailed instructions are given out during one of the sessions. (Pic credit: Urban Outlaws)

Of course, for such an intense mode of fitness, there will always be a risk of injury, something which Urban Outlaws are prepared for.

Attila is a manual therapist from Hungary who has been working at the gym for over a year. “In my role, I treat any kind of musculoskeletal problems and sports injuries,” he says.

“Often the injuries people get from CrossFit are pulled muscles or joint pain. 80/90% of the issues are tight and stiff muscles because of the training, but massages and stretching are a really good way to solve this. Just like in any sport, you can get injured here as well and it depends on the level of your training and how hard you push yourself.”

CrossFit is fast, demanding and intense but it’s community along with the opportunities it gives you to develop, make it a uniquely popular way of keeping fit.

Anyone interested can book a free taster session with Urban Outlaws at https://www.theurbanoutlaws.co.uk/contact

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Beestonian London Marathon update

Regular readers will remember that Beestonian Stuart Baird was preparing to run the London Marathon in aid of JDRF, a charity who are carrying out vital diabetes research. I got back in touch with Stuart to find out how he did and this was his response…

My total raised was £3200. I was in a team of 145 runners for JDRF and just before we set off running, we met for a photograph at Greenwich park and they told us we had raised over £400,000 collectively. This is a great contribution to the clinical trials which are working towards a cure for type 1, and interventions to make kids lives healthier until that cure is found.

As for the run. Wow. If you are contemplating it and think you can do it – go for it. The support is just off the dial in London. Everyone shouting my name from the first hundred yards and for the next 4hrs 42 minutes of running!

I got in ‘synch’ at one point with a few runners and chatted with them. You meet such amazing people along the way. Because of this, I was in synch with a guy surrounded by high rise offices, I had lost track of mileage and as we turned right we both said together, ‘Oh, wow!’ – We had stumbled onto Tower Bridge (the halfway point) by accident. I may have got something in my eye at this point.

This is where the official cheer points are for all the charities – JDRF (including Helen, James and Will), Macmillan, Tommys, Dementia, Cystic Fibrosis etc – thousands of people looking for their team but supporting anyone and everyone. The noise went up several levels.

A couple of miles further down the road, the runners go down an underpass where no supporters can go, all you can hear is silence and runners feet for a quarter mile, but then you turn left and up the ramp out and you’re in the city again. The high rises have tiered walkways so the noise hits you as if you’re a footballer coming out onto a stadium – unbelievable. Again, lump in the throat time.

“Those in the room all stood and clapped.”

I did a good pace until 20 miles and left myself 1hr & 10 mins to do the last 10k (6 miles.) I have been known to do this in 52 mins so I thought all is good. I had forgotten all the advice about fuelling – you are meant to take gels from 6 miles onwards every 20 mins because if you deplete your body and leave it late, you just feel sick all the time.

I ran/walked the last four miles. More than that, I wasn’t aware that as part of the whole JDRF team (which was much bigger than my small part) the charity put on a reception in China Town and as we came into the room, there were official cheerers and those in the room all stood and clapped. There was loads of food and a sports massage. I was made to feel very special but more than that I was very aware I was just one bit of a huge team, organisers, supporters, families and friends to raise that amount of money.”

Congratulations to Stuart from everyone at the Beestonian for his superb efforts.

Beeston Sailing Club

When it comes to sport in Beeston, many people are aware of its football club, the hockey team and even the croquet club, but one of the town’s oldest and lesser-known sporting clubs is a sailing club.

Situated just opposite Attenborough Nature Reserve, Beeston Sailing Club has a long history on the waters of the Trent since being established over 70 years ago.

“It was founded in 1948, by a group of gentlemen who met in the Angel Inn,” explained club secretary Clare Bailey.

“The part of the land here was actually owned by the Second Beeston Sea Scouts from around the 1920s and then in 1945/46 the lease was given to the sailing club and that’s how it was formed.”

The club has a proud history.

Whilst the club remains a relevant part of Beeston’s history, it has seen a sharp decline in members since the ’90s and currently has only 18 memberships.

“We used to have 200 plus when river sailing was quite popular,” said social secretary Terry Parker, who has been a member of the club for 18 years. “I remember on a Thursday night the river used to be full of Merlin Rockets, the name of the popular boat at the time.”

So why has the sailing club lost so many members over the past few decades?

“I think it was just lack of interest in sailing and the members were trying to keep it as a sailing club and not diversify into other things when you need to now,” says Terry.

“We’re sort of advertising ourselves to paddleboarders. It would be great if we had a fleet of them and canoeists.”

Past Trophy winners.

When visiting the club, there’s a real peacefulness about the place. The club sits far away from the busy roads in the area and the clubhouse is a great place for members to congregate.

It’s easy to see why it would be the perfect place for sailing, but Clare and Terry make it clear that the club offers more than just sailing to its members.

“We always get people who say, ‘I would love to live down here’ and I’ve said if you just want to come down for the weekend, join the sailing club. If you want to just chill out, bring your family and have a barbecue. This is a great area for birdwatching as well, with Attenborough Nature reserve just across the river” said Terry.

Like any business though, if Beeston Sailing Club is to survive, it needs to continue to gain more members, with operating costs making the sailing club increasingly expensive.

“We are looking for new members, but it’s about how we attract them and what it is that would be interesting for them,” Clare says. “We’re sort of advertising ourselves to paddleboarders. It would be great if we had a fleet of them and canoeists. It would be really good to get local children involved as well and to be able to offer them something which is so near to them.”

Anyone interested in joining the club can contact them at https://www.facebook.com/beestonsailing/

Nottingham Croquet Club

Nottingham Croquet Club has been a feature of Highfields Park for 80 years and with the club being the home of the reigning croquet world champions, Paddy and Miranda Chapman, Beeston is the home of one of Nottingham’s most successful sports clubs.

The club previously hosted the Women’s World Championships in 2015, which was won by Miranda and will be hosting the Under 21 Croquet World Championships in July this year.

“It’s really nice to have youngsters playing because everyone has an image of croquet as being about old people which it’s not,” said club chairman Beatrice McGlen.

The club are trying to bring croquet to new people and with the clubs slogan being ‘croquet for all’, Beatrice is hoping that more young people will get involved in the sport across Nottingham as they try to mirror the success that the sport has had with younger generations in New Zealand.

“In the Under 21 Championships coming up, there are 24 players who have been selected by the World Croquet Federation and 10 of them are from New Zealand, which is a pretty high number,” says Beatrice.

18-year-old James Galpin will be competing at the Under 21 Croquet World Championships at the club in July.

“The set up with sports and schools in New Zealand is very similar here, so we’ve got 5 local schools within the vicinity of the club who we are going to do a taster session with in June.

“We’re then going to have an afterschool club on a Thursday and the idea is to set up an interschool competition with the final being played during the Under 21 Championships so they can see the world’s best young people playing whilst having their own competition. Hopefully, we will end up with a thriving junior section within the club.”

Croquet is not only stereotyped as being for elderly people, but also for those who are mainly white and middle class, something which Beatrice tells me that the club are making efforts to address.

“We have a Pakistani member, Ferzana Shan, she’s our only Asian member and I was saying to her one day, ‘how can we make croquet more appealing to the Asian population?’ She said one of the difficulties is actually getting people through the gate, so last year we were invited to the Pakistani forum for the Pakistan independence day celebrations and we went along to their dinner and showed them how to play croquet.

“This year we’re talking about having an evening specifically geared for Asian families. It’s a perfect sport for multi-generational families to play because you can really play from 9 to 90 without any trouble at all.”

There are often several different games of croquet being played simultaneously at the club.

There are two types of croquet that are commonly played; association croquet which can be very tactical and requires more mental and technical skill and golf croquet which is seen as being more sociable.

Tim King has played almost 2000 games of croquet, which he tells me is the most in the croquet ranking system. Tim will be competing in the Golf Croquet World Championships this summer and says that although it is a simple sport to play, there is more to it than people might think. “Almost anybody can start playing a competitive game of croquet in about 10 minutes, but the fascination of it comes from the tactics. There’s lots of different choices, some players like to hit the ball harder and other players are really accurate and put the ball exactly where they want it to block the opponent.

“I love my cricket and football, but because I don’t have natural hand-eye coordination I was just never good enough, but in croquet, I very quickly became reasonably competent.

“The mental side is the one that keeps on posing a challenge. You have to learn to stay calm. When the likes of Sir Clive Woodward talk about thinking clearly under pressure, croquet is a sport where anybody of any age, gender or level of physical fitness, can go onto that court and experience what Sir Clive means.

“I would say to anybody who’s not played a competitive sport before because they feel they don’t have what it takes, croquet is a sport that they can really enjoy.”

Anyone interested in having a go at croquet can contact the club at https://www.nottinghamcroquet.org.uk/contact

Beeston boxer is fighting in Notts this weekend

22-year-old Beeston resident Joe Hughes is a professional boxer who will be fighting in only his second pro fight this weekend at Harvey Hadden Stadium. 

Joe won his first fight after just 50 seconds and will be hoping for a repeat of that result when he takes on Uzzy Ahmed from Birmingham on July 6th.

I had a chat with him recently to find out more about Beeston’s resident boxer ahead of Saturday’s showdown.  

Could you tell me a little bit about how you got into boxing?

“Originally, I got into it when I was a youngster to get rid of a little bit of energy and to stop me misbehaving. Then I stopped doing it until I was 17. My Grandfather passed away with cancer so I signed up to have a charity boxing event and from there I just carried on with it. Last Christmas I signed professionally and had my pro debut in March.”

Who’s on your coaching team and do you have a trainer, who helps you with these fights?

“I train in Hyson Green. My coach is called Barrington Brown, he’s a former professional boxer himself. My assistant coach is Mark Howe, who is also a former professional, so two ex-professionals are now coaching me. 

From left: head trainer Barrington Brown, manager Scott Calow and assistant trainer Mark Howell.

 How did the fight come about and how was it organised?

“When you sign as a professional, you get a manager and you sign all your contracts with your promoter and he gave me a date for my debut which was on the 16th March. My manager organises who my opponent is. I just turn up, sell tickets and fight.”

Do you box full-time and how are your preparations going for the fight on Saturday? 

“I train full-time and I work part-time for just 3 hours a day as a lifeguard. I’ve just been doing a lot of running, training twice a day, dieting and a lot of sparring work and just doing anything that my head coach tells me really.”

What are your future aspirations when it comes to boxing?

“A lot of boxers say this and I think it’s the best way to go about it, you’ve got to take every fight as the fight you’ve got in front of you, but I would say as a short term goal for the next year or two years would be to win an area title.”

Joe won his first fight by knock out after just 50 seconds.

Could you explain what an area title is?

“An area title would be the whole of the Midlands. Everyone in the Midlands competes for one title in my weight class which is super-featherweight, so if I work my way up the rankings then I could apply to have a shot at the title and hopefully win that. After that maybe defend it a couple of times and then move on to either the English or the British titles.”

Who is your opponent and how many fights has he had before?

“The guy I’m fighting has had three fights and his record is two losses and one draw, so he’s looking for his first win.” 

Tickets are available by contacting Joe on 07804732595 or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jhboxing7/. Doors open at 6:30 pm with the first fight of the night at 7:30 pm. 

Beestonian to run London Marathon in aid of diabetes research

On the 28th April, Beeston resident Stuart Baird will attempt to run the London Marathon to raise money for vital research on diabetes after his son James was diagnosed with type 1, the most severe form of the disease.

“He lost a dramatic amount of weight in a very short period of time and he was rushed to the children’s hospital. it was a big shock. Nobody in the family has any history of diabetes,” said Stuart.

Stuart is originally from Leeds but has been living in Beeston for almost 20 years. His love for the town is such that he has expanded his house twice since moving to the area in the late ’90s.

At the start of his sons’ treatment, Stuart was asked by one of the doctor’s if his son would be willing to take part in something called ‘the honeymoon trial.’ “It’s to test the functionality of the pancreas,” explained Stuart. “You’re having to inject yourself before every meal with insulin and you end up with a continuous closed loop monitor, which monitors his blood sugars and that talks to a pump which feeds him the insulin he needs,” he said.

The trial was funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) a charity which works towards funding type 1 diabetes research. According to JDRF, over 29,000 children in the UK suffer from type 1 diabetes, with Stuart hoping that the money raised will                                                                         benefit them.

“My target is £2000,” reveals Stuart. “The funds will directly help children on this research trial in Nottingham and elsewhere in the country. The reason why it’s so important to fund these projects is so that young people and children who’ve got type 1 diabetes, can be helped to control there blood sugar’s from a very early age, which means that they will live happier lives and will have just as long a life span as everyone else would,” says Stuart.

“I know not everyone can or wants to run but if you encourage others, it is so appreciated. You never know what that person is running for, or how hard it has been for them.”

Running the London marathon will be far from straight forward. At 26.2 miles, only the Paris marathon is bigger in Europe. In preparation, Stuart had been clocking up plenty of miles when we spoke at the end of February.

“It’s the first time I’ve done a marathon, even though I think I’ve done at least ten half marathons. I’ve already clocked up 180 miles in training over January and February. I’ll have to run next Sunday (3rd March) 16 miles, the next Sunday is 18, I do 3 lots of 20 miles and then one 22 and that’s just before the marathon,” he said.

“If you are raising money for a loved one, the last mile and finish line can get quite emotional – it’s journey’s end.

“For example, the Great North Run finishes with a mile uphill and just as you hit the top you see the North Sea, a beach and around 80,000 people cheering you on to the finish line. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

“When you have your name on your running number, people call out your name and encourage you. It’s a great feeling. I know not everyone can or wants to run but if you encourage others, it is so appreciated. You never know what that person is running for, or how hard it has been for them – a lot have lost children, parents or friends and are running for their memory, as well as raising money” said Stuart.

So what does Stuart hope to ultimately achieve from attempting this mammoth task?

“I want more people to know about type 1 diabetes and the challenges that those with type 1 have to face. It doesn’t just affect the person, but it affects the person’s family because you need to appreciate that they can’t just eat and drink and not care about what they’re putting into there body. They need to constantly think about there insulin and blood sugar levels

“I did run the London Landmarks half marathon for JDRF last year, but it’s not so much about me and running, it’s more about me running for JDRF because I’m a big believer in what they are trying to achieve and obviously James has directly benefited from the work that the NUH (Nottingham University Hospitals) team and JDRF have done. It’s just phenomenal really.”

To support Stuart’s efforts visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stuart-baird5?utm_id=26

 

 

All to play for at Beeston FC

Beeston FC
Beeston FC under 9’s.

Beeston FC has grown considerably since we last covered them a year ago. The club has further developed there work with girl’s football, to the extent in which they now have four separate groups playing, whilst the club itself continues with its plans for a clubhouse which will benefit not just the football club but the local community as a whole.

“I’ve got a daughter who’s now 12 and she and her friends wanted to try football, so I ran a few sessions at Roundhill Primary School,” said Beeston FC’s Charlie Walker.

“As a club and the way football is evolving, the girl’s game is such an important part of it that we wanted to offer that. We’ve got groups at under 7, under 9, under 11 and under 13 with just over 50 signed up and we’ve put six coaches, a mixture of men and women, through there level 1 FA football coaching course.”

The club have come far with the development of their girl’s teams, with January seeing the under 13’s take part in their first competitive match in a friendly against Nottingham Forest Ladies under 13’s.

Football participation among females is at an all-time high in this country. In March last year, the FA revealed that 1.7 million females aged five and over, took part every month.The increased attention given to the England Women’s football team, nicknamed The Lionesses, has certainly helped to remove the stigma that football is a sport primarily for males.

Beeston FC took part in the FA’s Wildcat Scheme to try and get more girls interested in playing football, however, the Wildcat Scheme only lasted until the summer, something which makes running a girl’s football team throughout the year more difficult.

“Because the wildcat scheme was supported by existing coaches who all had their own teams, the challenge was to find coaches who would be willing to take it on should we support them and also, could we keep hold of those who came to the wildcat sessions and find more girls to join,” says Charlie. “But we have managed to do that, which has been our big achievement of 2018.”

Whilst Beeston FC is one of the most popular football clubs in the area, like many at grassroots level, it’s difficult to fund for new facilities.

In November 2017, the club where unsuccessful in there bid to receive £10,000 from the Aviva Community Fund, in order to improve the facilities even though they received over 5000 votes, one of the highest numbers in the competition.

“It’s important for us as a club, that as we develop the teams and attract more young people to play, that we can improve the facilities,” Charlie tells me.

“If we can have a clubhouse to bring people together and create a community feel within the club as well as bringing some benefit to the Rylands, then that would help in terms of the growth and development of the club.

We run a little fundraising event, we’ve just done a raffle. We advertise them on Beeston Updated so we’ll be publicising stuff” Charlie concludes.

If your daughter is interested in playing for Beeston FC please contact Charlie on 07803 592032.

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