Sunday, October 25

Interview by Jack Clarkson

AFC Totton in the Community in Partnership with Team Spirit

Girls football Superstars is free for everyone to join until 27th October. It’s open for ages between 4 – 14 for all abilities. Sessions are every Tuesday from 5.30pm – 6.30pm and are held at The Snows Stadium training pitch.

We managed to ask some questions with coaches Sean and James who were kind enough to tell us a bit more about the sessions, what it’s all about and ultimately why they do what they do.

Darren Curtis also contacted to add in some words of his own:

“Our Partnership with AFC Totton is amazing, working together to support the girls football and community is our ultimate goal looking forward and we have lots of exciting plans together”

1. It’s been a massive success and we were just speaking about the difference between the first week to now. What can you tell us about that and the sessions that you conduct?

“I think we’ve carried the Team Spirit ethos throughout the 4 weeks and making the local community aware of it is what we’re trying to preach. We’re merely using football as a tool and using the ethos to develop the girls as people. We always try to focus on our Team Spirit Ethos and that’s: Try, Energy, Attitude and Mates so we’re ensuring it’s fun and everyone has a positive attitude and feel about the sessions. When the girls are learning something new, we use errors as a learning curve so we always try and keep that positive spin on it and think about the different ways the girls can learn, not just playing sports but in and around our day to day life. Focus was about female football retention and we would have performance as well as participation so that for me is what sold the company and the ethos has been a massive part of that. It’s about giving the kids as much opportunity, it doesn’t have to be about football or any sport event, it’s merely trying to get the community involved and creating as much opportunity for the girls as possible”.

“We’ve gone from 9 in our first session to around 35 one week and 27 the other so it’s fantastic to see that word of mouth around the community is working. It is for everyone, we’re here for the community feel so to get anyone involved, enjoying their football and experience with Team Spirit  is what we’re all about”.

1. 2020 has been a very difficult year for everyone involved, but it’s nice to have something like this back and available again isn’t it?

“It’s absolutely brilliant, when we were in lock down, some kids still had to go to school as some parents were key workers so we essentially became key workers ourselves. We were going to schools offering our help and you could see they were so happy to see that something like this was available to them when we turned up. You can always see the joy on the girls faces, every time they come in they’re energetic with a great attitude and we haven’t seen one kid stop trying. All the girls are so friendly with each other as well even though some of them don’t go to the same school”.

1. For the girls as well to have the experience of being the mascots for the players for their last home game, walking around the pitch, taking photographs and shooting penalties as well, they were the biggest fans I think out there and they loved that aspect of it as well didn’t they?

I think what makes it what it is, is seeing the girls at the end of the session and throughout talking about their experience. The parents are so appreciative of what’s available and to build the rapport with them as well so they can see what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

I think that’s why we try and express what our Team Spirit ethos is all about at the start to make them realise we aren’t looking for the best players in the world, it’s more about enjoying themselves and using those tools not only in the sports we do, but also in life as well. The parents have loved it and that’s why we do what we do, to see the girls enjoying themselves.

Community:

“Having this place here to conduct this as well, the facilities are brilliant. At the beginning of this Tuesdays session (13th October) we had a few of the other footballers as well as coach Brett out there, saying hello and waving to the girls as well, making them feel at home. To us the players are brilliant as well, not afraid to have a chat and ask us questions about how it’s all going.

Covid-19 Regulations:

“We made sure that when we started this programme that we are following all the covid regulations, we have risk assessments in place. When the girls turn up, they have their own cones which are measured out at the correct distance as well as when they listen in to the session, we’re making sure they are all in their own space as well to ensure it’s all done correctly. The parents can see that as well and I think they really appreciate how much has been put into the sessions”.

There are 2 more sessions available for FREE, the next one Tuesday 20th October and the last one on Tuesday 27th October! After this, sessions are £4.

Below is an audio interview where you can hear Jack Clarkson talking to coaches Sean and James about the sessions. They tell us what Team spirit are all about and how much the girls love the sessions.

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