This summer’s UEFA Women’s EURO 2017, which kicks off on 16th July, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the game and get the kids involved. At our #15YearsofGrassroots Twitter chat, parents shared their children’s stories of participating in football.
We were joined by England International defender Casey Stoney, who has been capped more than 100 times. Stoney, who tweeted from @BetterPlayUK, answered questions about encouraging kids in football, dealing with losses, even how to improve skills at home.
The chat was sponsored by McDonald’s UK, the longest standing supporter of grassroots football in the UK, celebrating the 15th anniversary of its community programme. It has consistently promoted a ‘football for all’ approach, encouraging children and young adults to play and enjoy football, regardless of gender or disability. Visit its website, where kids can apply to be a Player Escort!
Check out these top tips from parents and Casey Stoney to encourage your kids to get involved in community football
What parents love about football
1 of best things about football is you can take a ball anywhere & in minutes you’re playing with new friends @seasidebelle1
Most wonderful thing happened when we played football recently, 15 strangers turned up and played with us! @LuckySammyG
My top tip is to take your children to watch a semi-pro/pro match. It’s a fun day out and super inspiring @NEFamilyFun
I got a good tip from a mum: it’s about improvement, not “getting good” — practice makes you BETTER, not perfect @JHowze
Check out your local team, lots of clubs offer girls football sessions and teams @MummyvsWork
It doesn’t matter what your ability, football is a game for everyone! My son loves to try but he also loves to watch! @GlamandGeeky
On getting the whole family involved
When my older boys played I helped coach and manage the team. Became a real family affair @ChelseaMamma
My daughter loves playing football with her brothers @SeasideBelle1
We played a game the other day with a football called Kick Rounders…yep, you guessed it! Football rounders! @LuckySammyG
Both my youngest two love to watch, they pick a random side and cheer all the way through, we love dressing up too! @V82Chris
— Mummy Vs Work (@MummyVsWork) July 10, 2017
We held a Penalty Shootout a few weeks ago where all the kids got to try score as many goals as they can, that was fun! @V82Chris
We do have a net in the garden for a fun penalty shoot out – I’m usually in goal but I’m a bit rubbish! @MyGorgeousBoys
My girls play it wherever and whenever they can! @WhatKatySaidUK
— Hannah Perry (@hannahperry1984) July 10, 2017
Tips from Casey Stoney @BetterPlayUK
On finding a team: I started in a boys team and it didn’t hurt me. Coaching is key at a young age
Girls should start as early possible and just get out there and play. Remember practice makes perfect
Girls’ football is improving all the time and there are more female grassroots teams all over the UK now
Keeping fit, healthy and active is great. Team games are great for communication skills and working with others
Football is all about having fun and make sure you have a kick about whenever you can!
Older role models can massively help in development and not just on the field
On losing a match: Always be as supportive as possible and remind them to learn from that experience
On keeping teenage girls interested in the game: It’s best to keep them in a team of a same age and that’s she is friendly with. Focus on having fun
Small steps are best. Build her confidence as quickly as you can and have a familiarity with the ball
There are some great skills to try on the McDonald’s YouTube channel!
On Casey’s football journey
My journey has been incredible. I’ve been lucky enough to experience some real highlights
It’s all about hard work and dedication and I’m sure the rewards will come
There are loads of role models in the England team who done great things. We all do our bit to get more involved
On women’s football: I think it’s great and through my work with McDonald’s, we are promoting the female game as much as we can
Thanks for joining
A big thank you to everyone who got involved in our twitter chat and to Casey for joining us and offering some fabulous advice.
Visit the original Twitter chat post to see who won the great #prizes on offer, just for tweeting along wtih the #15yearsofgrassroots hashtag.
Finally, for your chance to enter the McDonald’s Player Escort programme, head over to their website now. With its Player Escort programme, it has provided thousands of boys and girls with the chance to stand beside football superstars and experience the roar of the crowd first hand.
Homepage image: @MissieLizzieB