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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Beeston Touch Rugby Game

Beeston plays host to The European Touch Rugby Championships

Touch Rugby is a sport that many of you will have heard of, some may have played it at school, but few will have taken it seriously as a competitive sport.

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Some of the matches taking place at the event

This year, the European Touch Rugby Championships where held at Highfields Park for four days in July. Such is the growing popularity of Touch Rugby, that the event was broadcast on the BBC for the first time.

“I’ve been involved in the sport for eight years and it’s grown enormously since I started,” said Referee Manager and Beeston local, Dani Hegg. “When I started in Nottingham we had around 50 people involved and now we have about 300!”

Touch Rugby shares some similarities with Rugby, but with a few noticeable differences. Whilst you can score a try, there are no scrums. Tackling is done by a touch and there are no line-outs.

The matches last for 40 minutes, with two 20-minute half’s and a short break in between. “It involves a lot of sprinting, so it’s quite physical,” said Dani.

The open competitions including the men’s, women’s and mixed are the most popular, but there is also a senior’s category for over 45’s, proving that Touch Rugby is a sport where, if fit enough, anyone can play.

So how popular is Touch Rugby and what brings the sport to Beeston?

“The event has been going on for over 20 years,” explained Dani.  “The first time, it was obviously still quite small, but Touch (Rugby) is a growing sport and we now have about 800 to 900 players here to compete, with 100 referees. We always need at least 3 referees per game and 14 players per team, so there’s quite a lot of people involved at this event.

“Nottingham was put forward to host the event, because we have some of the best pitches. The last event was in Ireland, and we’ve got the World Cup happening next year in Malaysia, which will involve more teams.

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The tents of some of the competing nations

“There’s 17 countries taking part in this event, we have referees from all of these countries as well as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa who came to help us out, because the sport is a lot bigger in the southern hemisphere where the referees have years of experience that they’re giving to us here in England.”

Halfway through our conversation, a loud claxon sounds which Dani explains is the signal for the start of the second half of all the matches.

“All the matches are centralised, with the claxon going off for half-time and then when the matches start so everyone knows what’s happening.

“We have a Group Stage and then there’s Knockout’s followed by Gold Medal and Silver Medal matches.

“The Men’s and the Women’s Open are the most popular categories, because that is the highest level, where countries will put players in.”

So how do you get involved if you are interested?

“To join, there is a Facebook group called Nottingham Touch and we’re also on Twitter where you can contact us.

“We have Leagues where there are mixed Women’s and Men’s games which are played on the Beeston Hockey pitches in Winter and Spring and then we have the Summer League which is played at Gresham Playing Fields, so there’s quite a lot going off. Nottingham is one of the bigger clubs in the country.

“I hope that this event will have a good impact on Beeston. Nottingham Touch Rugby are always looking for players to join, so we are hoping that people coming here today will see that this is a great sport to participate in.”

Many in Beeston will not have realised that such an international event was taking place on their doorstep, but there’s no doubt that few sports are more fun, engaging and easier to play than Touch Rugby.

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