Women’s World Cup 2019

Women's World Cup 2019

Commencing next month, the anticipation for women’s world cup is building! Taking place in France, 24 teams face the group stages across 9 different locations, including Parc Olympique in Lyon. It is hoped that England will follow in the successful footsteps of their male counterparts in last year’s Men’s world cup! Some suspect that England ladies may even surpass expectations and have got what it takes to go all the way, currently being ranked at number 3 by Fifa.

Following on from what has been a landmark year of women’s football with the introduction of the women’s super league (WSL), this summer is set to see some monumental performances from teams across the world. This will also be the first women’s world cup to use VAR technology, proving just how hot the competition is. Alongside England in Group D are our neighbours, Scotland, Argentina and Japan. England and Scotland kick off the group on 9th June in Nice. Coming 3rd in the previous Women’s world cup and averaging 3 goals per game, the sky is the limit for our ladies.

Amongst the build up to the competition, Fifa have launched a campaign to celebrate the amazing faces of football. A strong squad of 23 heroes have been set out to promote the tournament and celebrate the wider aspects of women’s football. Check out the campaign video here https://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/legends/ or join the conversation with #LegendsAssemble on Twitter.

As popularity and talent in women’s football continues to rapidly grow at the rate it so well deserves, here at SoccerDays we are experiencing first hand the buzz around the game! With numbers of young girls increasing week on week, one our toddler football classes now even has more girls attending than boys. The unity that is developed through sport is something we want to promote continually in our kids football classes, using the positive role models that football gives us.

Keep up to date with all the latest from the women’s world cup with the BBC from June 7th, let the countdown begin!

Happy Christmas from everyone at SoccerDays

In the spirit of festive cheer, this week’s blog will make you shed a tear. The happy kind of tear, best appropriate at this time of year!  

What is to follow is hilarious, folks. Some good, old fashioned, football jokes. Share these jokes with your little ones to tell around the dinner table on Christmas day, there are plenty of crackers!

What kind of tea do football players drink?

What is a ghost’s favourite football position?

Why did Cinderella loose her place in the football team?
Because she ran away from the ball.

Football fan

How do football players stay cool during games?
They stand by the fans.

Why didn’t the dog want to play football?
It was a boxer.

When is a footballer like a baby?
When they dribble.

What is a goalkeeper’s favourite snack?
Beans on post.

Why do football players do so well in school?
They know how to use their heads.

Happy Christmas from everyone at SoccerDays. See you in the New Year!

Better Coordination Will Help Children Achieve At School

It is widely discussed how sport and physical activity can help improve young children’s social, emotional and physical health. Researchers at The University of Leeds recently led a study that digs even deeper than this. Just over 300 children aged 4-11 took part in the study that used computer-based tasks to measure their co-ordination and interceptive timing.

Hand-eye coordination benefits young children on a daily basis, whether it be doing buttons up on a school shirt or playing with a ball at break time. Scientists define it as the ability to do activities that require simultaneous use of our hands and eyes. If we’re getting really scientific about things; we use our eyes to detect a stimulus, helping the brain to understand where the body is located in space. Our hands then have the job to simultaneously carry out a task, based on the visual information our eyes have received.

Hand-Eye Coordination Benefits Children in The Classroom

Now, that’s enough of the technical stuff! Let’s break down how hand-eye coordination can really benefit our young ones in the classroom. Hand-eye coordination is used WHENEVER we write; our eyes are able to send the information to the brain to tell it where exactly our hand needs to go, and then move to generate desired shapes and lines. In an ever-growing digital world, typing on a keyboard is more of a norm than ever, with hand-eye coordination contributing to the ability to type with ease and success.

In the study led by researchers at The University of Leeds, children who performed better in tasks were on average, 9 months ahead educationally than those classmates who struggled in tasks. Professor Mon-Williams commented on this, saying that when a child shows good hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness, they perform better when processing numbers. Not only this, they also tend to be more abstract thinkers.

How to Improve Your Child’s Coordination

There are many, many ways to help improve your child’s coordination, why not try some of these fun (and mostly free) activities:

  • Wheelbarrow walking: The adult holding the legs of the child whilst the child walks with their hands.
  • Swimming:When swimming the body must work against the resistance of the water, improving awareness of where the body is.
  • Kneeling: Whilst kneeling playing activities such as catch of trying to keep a balloon off the floor..
  • Hopscotch: Transferring weight from one leg to two and then back again means movement is changing frequently.
  • Stepping stone: Encourages big jumps from item to item to improve balance.
  • Bike and scooter: Both requiring the child to work with balance.
  • SoccerDays Football Class: A wide range of fun and exciting activities and football classes for toddlers that your little one will LOVE… (How couldn’t we…)

Street Child World Cup

Once again, football has been used as a tool to unite nations, coming together to celebrate culture and talent around the world.

From reading the first line you may have thought this blog was about the upcoming World Cup – but you’d be wrong! Prior to the World Cup commencing on 14th June, the Street Child World Cup has recently taken place in Moscow.

Helping Street Children Around the Globe

The Street Child World Cup is not as well-known as it should be. Supported by Save The Children, the organisation was formed in the hope to use the power of football to raise awareness and tackle widespread stigma that is associated with street children around the globe. It is thought that through the event, countries, governments and communities would be inspired to better protect and respect street connected children for years to come.

At this year’s event, which took place throughout May, 23 countries competed against each other for the title of champions. However, it is more important to note that above all, these 23 countries competed together to bring justice and support for those children that suffer from life on the streets. Not only did these inspirational young people show their talent on the football pitch, but they also shared their wise words and opinions in A General Assembly, where one representative from each country spoke about their experiences on the streets. Captain of Team Nepal, Roshan, shared his experiences with audiences that included FIFA World Cup winner Gilberto Silva. Roshan explained that himself and his teammates have been attacked as criminals, yet “today we have an identity as national players. We are the change, we are the voice.”

Results of The Street Child World Cup 2018

The Street Child World Cup has certainly been an exciting place to be in the past few weeks, with the Brazil girls taking home the trophy in the ladies’ pool and Uzbekistan boys in a close final against Pakistan in the men’s pool. Our own England Girls team reached the semi-finals, but unfortunately lost out to Tanzania by just one goal.

Centrepoint UK – The UK’s Leading Youth Homeless Charity

Centrepoint UK are a charity that help to form the Street Child Football teams here in the UK. Centrepoint is also the UK’s leading youth homeless charity, supporting more than 10,000 homeless people each year. Centrepoint work hard to provide shelter and support for those on the streets in England. As well as on the pitch action, the youngsters have been involved with art exhibition and inspirational talks.

If The Street Child World Cup is something that inspires you, find out how you can get behind the charity online here and for footage from this year’s Cup, take a look at the organisation’s YouTube channel here.

Together at SoccerDays and through sport we can continue to spread the message of unity and acceptance of all, no matter what circumstances. If you would like to introduce your little ones to the world of football, we would encourage you to come along to one of our football classes for toddlers, designed to help improve skills, confidence and social skills!

Disney FA Girls’ Football Week – FA For Girls

As part of the FA’s Gameplan For Growth, this month see’s the second annual Girl’s Football Week. In a bid to inspire and encourage young girls to become more active, the FA have teamed up with Disney to bring some sparkle to the pitch and celebrate girls in football. Football classes with SoccerDays are targeted to increase participation within young girls.

Disney Inspired Football Sessions

Enlisting qualified coaches to lead Disney inspired sessions, the FA hope to involve girls of all abilities. At the forefront of the campaign are the bold, inspiring and determined characters including Moana, Repunzel and Judy Hopps, all best known for taking their destiny into their own hands. Through a range of interesting and exciting activities, young girls will be inspired by the profound confidence of these Disney characters. Furthermore, opening up opportunities may help young girls explore avenues they have not done before and ignite their dreams no matter what they may be.

Why attend the Disney Inspired Football Sessions?

Kelly Simmons, The FA participation and development director praises the project immensely, stating that the project hopes to make football “relevant and attractive” for young girls by ensuring every session is “inspiring and fun”

Packs are currently being distributed to schools, clubs and homes nationwide and for all those that participate, a 20% discount voucher is also being rewarded.

Experiences with Disney and the FA

This is just another step Disney are taking to promote a commitment to healthy living through the use of their characters. In the lead up to the event, they have released a short film based on the three inspiring young girls from Coalville Town Football Club and how they have displayed the strong and determined traits of our much loved Disney characters. See the short film below

Furthermore, the lucky lioness’ were given a treat as on a recent trip to Orlando they had the opportunity to meet the likes of Minnie Mouse and explore the Magic Kingdom.

Jill Scott, one of only 10 players to have earned 100 caps for the lioness’ has got behind girls football week. Scott, 31, insists that “Women’s football is just getting bigger and better and it’s a privilege to be a part of it, especially during weeks like this.”

How can young children get involved?

Boasting an impressive career, Scott want’s to inspire as many young girls as possible to take the leap of faith and drive for success in football, even running her own football camps to do just this.

The week long initiative will hope to inspire girls not only for the week, but for life long participation in a sport that is loved by many. If you are interested to find out more about SoccerDays and sign up please follow the link below http://www.fagirlsfootballweek.com/

Winning or Losing

The age-old argument of whether young children should participate in competitive sports is one that ruffles a lot of feathers. An opinion that is very much divided, how do we decide if our little ones should be facing the trials and tribulations of winning or losing at such a young age?
Of course, winning and losing is not only encountered through sport and it is likely that even in the most innocent of play situations at pre-school or clubs, your children are already experiencing one of these.

Despite the popular, “it’s the taking part that counts”, Sports Psychologist Amanda Hills makes an interesting point to suggest that not exposing children to competition at an early age does not set them up for life because life itself is competitive. It is important that children learn to lose, as well as win. Hills goes on to express that winning should be celebrated as for some children sport is the only opportunity for them to thrive and succeed.

Handling winning and losing in the correct manner

It is fair to say that competition should be handled in the correct way, so not to deter participation. If the activity that young children are participating in is fun, exciting and engaging, what harm is then coming from teaching children the principles of winning and losing? Frequently asked questions usually involve the positive and negative experiences in competitive sport, especially for children who are of a younger age. At SoccerDays we understand that these experiences may shape a child’s perception and feeling towards the given activity, therefore a balance and how these experiences are handled are important to give a holistic and fair experience to the child.

With a naïve mind, there is a fear of children becoming ‘obsessed’ with winning, and it is vital to ensure that your child does not view every aspect of life as a competition as it could put a strain on their own self-esteem and certainly their capabilities of socialising. Emphasizing that ‘doing your best’ is the outcome that your child should seek as opposed to ‘winning at all costs’ will help avoid behaviour such as cheating or being a ‘sore loser’. How you speak with your child after they have participated in an activity can also shape how they view winning or losing. Closed questions such as ‘did you win?’ put a tight pressure on children to say yes or no. Instead we advise parents to open-up their questions to find out from our young ones about what they learnt or what they found fun about the activity, we are encouraging them to review their whole experience as opposed to just the outcome. Football is not always competitive either. At SoccerDays we organise Football Parties for Kids which are filled with fun and exciting activities!

As parents we all want our children to enjoy and thrive at life, we can support them in this by advocating the importance of both winning and loosing. Teaching children to follow rules will install a democratic element in their personality, helping to set goals for our children gives them something to strive and want to achieve. Team work is a fantastic skill to teach children, being part of a team gives them a sense of belonging, that way they can work together to meet a goal or outcome. A variation of activity choice demonstrates to young children that not everything relates to winning or losing, and simply enjoying something will in turn make them happy. If you and your child are interested in our programmes, find a class and book with us today!

Give Your Child A Kick-Start in Life with SoccerDays

If this has inspired you to let your child into the competitive world of football, we have various football classes for toddlers and children available in many locations that they can get involved with. SoccerDays offer 45 minutes of football provided by high quality football coaches! Find your nearest venue and book a trial today!

The Love of Sport Seems to Have No Limit

The love of sport seems to have no limit. People in all corners of the world celebrate and share a compelling enthusiasm for sport, despite any barriers that may seem to get in the way. Along with the help of medicine, science and technology, sport is no longer just something that able-bodied people can thrive in. Events such as the Paralympics have brought to light the wealth of opportunity on offer for people in adapted sports and has put the rich talent that these sports own at the forefront of this.

Adapted Sport

There is something certainly quite uplifting and warming about seeing that despite barriers – be it physical, emotional, economical or geographical, sport has the power to offer ever-growing opportunity. These days, football is not just a grass pitch with two goals but also a ball containing a bell, using crutches as a balance aid & adapted rules for those with learning difficulties.

Success of The Paralympic Games

Just recently, England took to the pitch at the CP (Cerebral Palsy) World Games and left the competition in 4th place after a defeat to Russia.

The successes don’t stop there for England’s adapted football teams. Smashing through to the final, England Deaf Futsal team beat Denmark & Slovakia to be crowned champions of their group.

If ever there was a role model, He Yiyi of China paints the perfect portrait. As an amputee, Yiyi has stunned thousands with his epic performance on the pitch, using crutches to manoeuvre around. Since his surgery 9 years ago, the young lad has worn out 27 pairs of crutches for the love of football. Yiyi embodies the thrive and passion for the sport with his unstoppable nature.

Every 4 years the Paralympics hosts the game for visually impaired footballers, these players use a smaller sized football that is heavier and contains a ball. Players are assigned to 1 of 3 categories based on their visual impairment. B1 is for those who are totally or almost blind, B2 contains players who are partially sighted and can recognised shapes. Lastly, B3 is the category for those with most vision. This year, England B1 team will be competing in The ISBA Blind Football World Champions, having previously come 3rd in the European competition.

The success of these athletes is clearly very evident, and certainly gives the England Football Team a run for their money. These athletes solely embody how if you love something enough, you’ll find a way to do it!