How often have you watched a game of football and thought “I can do that!”?
Well, one football coach and a group of Staffordshire ladies have just done that…..with a little bit of help from us here at HaulTech.
Women’s Football is the fastest growing participation sport for girls in this country. The success of the England Women’s team and the growth of the WSL have played a major part in the development and awareness of the sport in this country. Female football players are now household names and are inspiring a legion of followers to take up the sport themselves.
We’re big football fans at HaulTech, and we also love to champion the community around us, too. That’s why we recently started sponsoring the new team kit for the ladies that play at Stafford Soccer Mums.
So, just who are the Stafford Soccer Mums?
In short, they’re a group of mums who have made the transition from enjoying watching their children play football from the touchline to donning the kit and playing competitive football themselves – in most cases, for the very first time!
So, why did HaulTech get involved? The company’s Executive Director, Clare Chidlow, takes up the story…..
“I’m a keen follower of football myself. HaulTech is based right in the heart of the country in Staffordshire, and we are proud of the local community around us. We heard about a group of ladies who had set up a football team in Stafford and wanted to find out more……
And find out more we did, and saw sponsoring Stafford Soccer Mums as a natural collaboration and partnership. We are really excited about supporting a club that are inspiring those within our community to participate in and enjoy sport.”
Fellow HaulTech Executive Director Craig Lamont continues, “As in business – it’s great to be successful, but for me sport is all about participation, health and fitness, enjoyment, and friendship: Something the Stafford Soccer Mums are already top of the league in. To see their numbers rise and everyone enjoying their football is fantastic.
As a company, we obviously had a starting point ourselves, and what you see now at HaulTech has taken years of hard work – and we have also needed support along the way, too. That’s why we’re delighted to do our little bit to help the club progress.”
And progress is just what the Stafford Soccer Mums have done….
Numbers of those participating and training with the club have risen dramatically; the team has gone from conceding 50 goals in its first few matches to winning games; they have played two hugely successful and enjoyable “international” matches against a team from Wales; Stafford soccer Mums have entered a 7-a-side Women’s Over 30’s League where over 40 spectators cheer them on at their matches; and their success has now resulted in the Mums Play Football Centre taking place at 6pm every Friday at Evans Park, home of Stafford Town Football Club.
Oh, and the club were also recently shortlisted for the Senior Team Performance Of The Year award at the Stafford Borough Sports Awards, too. It’s some success story!
The group was originally 12-strong (with an average age of 42 – the youngest player being 35 and the oldest a spritely 53 years old), but as we at HaulTech know full well – good news spreads fast, and as Stafford Soccer Mums coach Will Conaghan states “We have had a real boost in numbers since we started, from a dozen to more than forty, and we’ve set up three new Mums Play teams. HaulTech have been brilliant and paid for a brand new strip for each team. We can’t thank them enough”
Trebling participation numbers in such a short space of time is some achievement. So, how did Stafford Soccer Mums go from an idea to a thriving club?
“I sent one text message to the parents of my junior football team….and ten minutes later we had enough for a side”, notes Will, before adding, “The enthusiasm is amazing. Nobody misses training and they even set up their own additional fitness group with dads and kids joining in!
It’s about smiles on faces, fun, friendship, having a go, never giving up, and being healthy and active. It doesn’t matter if you’ve played before, or how unfit you may think you are – we are totally inclusive and are one big happy family. So, if you’re a soccer mum taking your children to training, or perhaps you’re looking for a new and enjoyable way to keep fit, or maybe you want to join an enjoyable and sociable sporting environment – get in touch!”
We have seen the popularity of women’s football grow in recent years and at HaulTech we applaud what Will and the ladies have done to boost take-up of the sport in our local area in such a short space of time. We wish them every success for the future.
Anyone interested in joining the ladies?