The ladies football club who play just for fun in Birmingham - and how you can join them

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Helen and Melissa met on social media through their shared passion for football and formed Ladies Football 4 Fun which plays in and around Birmingham

The Lionesses’ win at the Euros has inspired a new love for the Beautiful Game among young and old, alike.

While there is a lot of interest among young people to take up football, adults are not far behind - and a group of women in and around Birmimngham are taking matters into their own hands to help grown ups access the sport.

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Helen and Melissa have set up Football 4 Fun after meeting on social media - and their club has grown rapidly.

Helen, 42, a mother-of-four, was watching the EUROs final when she told her husband she would love to play football again. She used to play in her late teens and early 20s in Marston Green - but that was around two decades ago. Since then, she has had a family and a career, and she took to netball. But, she craved being able to kick about a ball like “blokes always do”.

She turned to social media to look for places where she could play but there was nothing for adult women out there. She was contacted by Melissa, 29, who is a football veteran as well and used to play for Solihull Borough.

Between the two of them, they decided to just go to the park and play. However, their social media post garnered so much interest that there are now hundreds of women who want to join the unofficial club.

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Ladies football club, Solihull Ladies football club, Solihull
Ladies football club, Solihull

They have had two sessions in Shirley and Monkspath but hope to take it further to Marston Green, Redditch and Dudley. All sessions are free, which improves access to the male-dominated game.

Helen spoke to BirminghamWorld about her initiative, which is limited to women and children. She said: “We have women from the ages of 18 to 60 wanting to play, have fun, and have a laugh.”

She said it’s good for their mental health to come out once a week and join the female-orientated session. There are no male coaches or participants in the group to ensure women from different ethnicities also take part. If they play in a public park, they hope to disperse any men who loiter around.

The pandemic made people nervous about meeting new people but we want to regenerate love for sport with like-minded women, she added. “We want to emphasise that it’s okay to play and like football for women,” she said.

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Ladies football club, Solihull Ladies football club, Solihull
Ladies football club, Solihull

Their group has some former football veterans and even those who have never kicked a ball before. They want to keep the sessions casual, which will begin with some warm ups and then play. Physical fitness is an added benefit to the fun sessions, she added.

“Women need to not just be a mom, partner or their career,” said Helen. She put her boots aside when she started her family and started focussing on her career, during which she worked for Birmingham City F.C. It was the Euros which brought back the memories for her and she now wants to give an opportunity to others to play.

Helen has two daughters who want to learn to play and other children are also welcome. “They make good ball boys and girls,” she joked.

Melissa and Helen Melissa and Helen
Melissa and Helen

Where is it and how to join?

The sessions take place every Tuesday - Shirley Park, Wednesday- Elmdon Nature Park, and Thursday- HillFields Park - Monkspath from 7pm. You can contact them on social media or email them at ladiesfootballfun@gmail to join.

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