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Your chance to play footie in Thurrock
5:00am Sunday 7th October 2012 in Sport
FOOTBALL: Thurrock adults who’d like a path off the sofa and back into football, or a casual introduction to the Beautiful Game, have a special incentive during the week beginning Monday 8 October when a Mars Just Play Centre 'Kickabout' at St Clere's School in Stanford-le-Hope is accessible free of charge.
Males over 16 years of age, with no upper age limit, are able to visit three venues across Thurrock where they can enjoy the small-sided sessions, and the free session at the Butts Lane school is the perfect way to return to the game, or try it for the first time. Equipment is provided and the qualified FA staff who organise the sessions are able to flag-up the options available to link into local clubs or progress, depending on needs or requirements.
The content of the sessions varies from centre to centre, but the key idea is to get participants as much playing time as possible at a pace that suits them, with the flexibility to include warm-ups, skills and drills as required - it’s very participant led, with the FA Mars Just Play Organisers providing the structure and organisation.
The partnership between Mars and The FA aims to arrest the decline in participation by getting 150,000 new players enjoying football for at least 30 minutes a week by September 2013, delivering 3.9 million hours of extra football each year. Over 100 centres are located across England to deliver sessions that can benefit up to 50 participants at any one time.
Local kickabouts take place under the guidance of GetIntoFootball Thurrock Officer Faye Lambert, who explained: “Selected Just Play Kickabouts are free for one week to highlight the scheme, which is growing and growing and encourages more participants to get back into the game via a flexible format and session at a time that suits their lifestyle. It’s understood that 178,000 adults have been involved so far nationally.”
“In Thurrock we have a regular 30 at Hassenbrook - with over 40 registered - and at William Edwards a regular 15. If the individuals wish to take their football further, there are exit routes we can show them into local clubs or the Thurrock Enquirer Veterans League 6v6, and there are also future plans for an Under 21s Futsal league and a small-sided GetIntoFootball league. There is normally a minimal cost of two or three pounds, depending on the centre.”
Book online at www.thefa.com/my-football/justplay. For further details, call Faye Lambert on (01245) 393099 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants will need shin pads and boots, although are no metal blades or studs are allowed on the Astroturf. If you’re interested in kickabouts, small-sided or traditional 11v11 formats of the game, find out more online at www.essexfa.com.