Litherland REMYCA finish on a high!

When we heard about the BRILLIANT work being done at Litherland REMYCA Football Club, and how much the children enjoy being a part of this buzzing environment, we jumped at the chance to get involved.

Connex currently sponsors two U12 girls teams and one U11 girls team. What especially caught our eye was that Litherland REMYCA are fully committed to grass roots football and believe in fair playing time for all – from what we’ve seen on the sidelines, they encourage the girls to enjoy themselves and work hard, which is what we’re all about.

We decided to sponsor the team because they are clearly ingrained into the Sefton Community and their youth set up established a girls team for the first time this year, so of course we were itching to support them.

There is someone who can tell you much more about this amazing programme – we caught up with the Head of Youth Development at the club, Colin Begbie, so he could tell us more…

Thank you so much for giving us your time, Colin. Why don’t you tell us a bit more about the club’s background?

“Litherland REMYCA FC is an FA Charter Standard football club, formed in 1959. The club is affiliated to the Liverpool County FA with teams playing throughout the Liverpool area, and we have over 30 male and female teams ranging from U7’s right through to veterans teams.”

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That’s a lot of teams to keep track of! So how did the decision to enter into girls football come about?

“We made the decision at the end of 2015 – our club philosophy is to increase participation in sport for all children at all ages. We work to a ‘football for all’ policy, hoping to give all children the opportunity to get involved in organised football in a safe and friendly environment under the supervision of FA qualified coaches. We felt if our philosophy was to be carried out in full and with our goal to becoming a true community club, we had to increase girl’s participation too.”

We love that! Is there anything else to add to your company ethos?

“As well as encouraging all children to participate, we also ask young adults to contribute by involving them in coaching with a view to gaining recognised FA coaching qualifications. The coaching includes Safeguarding training.”

Sounds like you’ve got safeguardig down to a tee! Tell us, how did the first season go for the girls?

“The season has been a great success for the club. We don’t judge our success on trophies, we judge it on increased participation and whether the girls and coaches are enjoying themselves. With nearly 40 girls involved in our several groups we can 100% say it has been an amazingly successful season.”

Were there any highlights you wanted to mention?

“The icing on the cake was to see our Saturday U12s win the Fair Play award for their league. The Sunday U12s and U11s managed to win their respective leagues too, so the outcomes have been very positive.

My favourite memory of the season had to be the Cup Finals night at Waterloo Rugby Club. Both our U10s and U12s made it to their Cup Finals. A very proud night and although both teams lost narrowly, the smiles on the girls faces meant more to me than any cups or prizes. It was a wonderful evening for the club and it showed how far we had come in a short space of time.”

Sounds like a very memorable season! Glad we could be a part of it!

“The sponsorship from Connex Education was a godsend to the girls section. The main issue with all the grassroots clubs is finance, such as Hiring of Winter training venues, equipment, kits, match fees, league fees all add up. We try our best to keep it affordable to the parents so any financial help is always most welcome.

Connex offered to sponsor the kits for both our U12 teams and as a gesture of goodwill from ourselves, we added the company logo to our U11s kits too.”

We’re only happy to help with such a fantastic programme. But with so many teams and players to manage, you must always be on the lookout for help?

“We are a club run ENTIRELY by volunteers and everything we receive goes straight back in to our teams. The girls benefitted greatly from this and the help from Connex has been greatly appreciated. Hopefully it is the beginning of a long partnership.”

So what’s next for your girls?

“Looking forward, our main objective is to ensure all the girls continue playing football, but we want more girls to join too. We want to build a legacy for future players by growing from the bottom up. Recently we formed a partnership with Goalz’n’Girls group to concentrate on year 1 to year 4 girls and get them involved. A weekly training session every Monday evening aimed at beginners is running and numbers are growing all the time. We recently had an U7s and an U8s team playing in a friendly tournament, which was another huge step for the club. Looking forward to the new season, we hope to have teams at U9s all the way to U13s playing n local league in Liverpool.”

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Sounds like you’ve got it all planned out! And when do you get time to relax?

“Despite the huge success both on and off the field, we will not be resting on our laurels. We plan to engage with more girls and continue to grow. The only negative we have is the lack of volunteer coaches. We are doing brilliantly getting the girls involved, but to carry on the good work we desperately need volunteer coaches to get involved. Even if they are not FA qualified, we will fully support any volunteer and help them achieve formal coaching qualifications.

“This is such a rewarding thing to do, it’s a shame people don’t step forward to get involved because I guarantee, once you do, there is no looking back and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!”