The moment Scrip’s dad had been waiting 18 months for arrived this Saturday – she had her first football lesson. The morning started with a tussle over Scrip’s outfit (I persuaded my husband to wait to showcase her toddler Arsenal kit until at least week 3) and then a panic over wet weather gear, as the heavens opened and her trusty oilcloth raincoat was nowhere to be found. Finally, with 10 minutes to spare and raincover firmly in place, we hotfooted it to Ravenscourt Park to join the other tiny players at Little Foxes.
We chose Little Foxes as we’ve walked past the sessions in the park a number of times and the children – big and small – always seem to be having a great time. There were also some good testimonials on the website. We didn’t realise you could start these kind of courses from 18 months but were pleased to discover you could, and we thought it would be nice to have a regular class every Saturday morning that will make us get up and out in good time as the winter draws in. It will also be nice for my husband to take her as the course goes on, so they can spend some more time together.
As for why we chose football – we are a sport-loving household and both really enjoy the beautiful game (CTID). I like the fact that the classes are mixed and boys and girls then continue to play together through primary school (I loved it when I was at school and was one of the first girls to get my Blue Soccer Skills award!) And it’s great for coordination and interaction.
It was a shame the weather wasn’t great but I guess we’ll need to get used to standing on the side of windy, wet pitches if she carries on playing. It certainly didn’t dampen spirits on Saturday – there was a brilliant, energetic atmosphere and the coaches were fantastic. Scrip seemed quite nervous to start with when confronted with this new and noisy group – so she a needed a lot of coaxing. But after a while she was running around, crawling through tunnels and playing with hoops with the other mini players.
We thought the group was for 18 months to 2 years but as soon as we heard one little boy reciting all the colours of the rainbow we were pretty sure it extended beyond that. And it did – there were 2 1/2 and 3 year olds and a few of them had been in the same class for two or three terms. One mum whose son had been in this group for a while told me that he wouldn’t even kick a ball when he started – now he’s taking ‘penalties’ like a pro. So Scrip’s tendancy to pick up the ball or run off and gather sticks doesn’t worry me just yet.
Plus as she’s not at nursery I think playing regularly with a group of children will be a really good experience for her. We’re looking forward to next week (and keeping half an eye on the forecast).