AFC Unity started back in February this year with the help of the FA’s Just Play funding that enabled the club to run ten 1 hour training sessions at Sheffield’s U-Mix Centre, engaging a total of 23 women with a core of 16 players, with most registering for AFC Unity’s first ever season in the Sheffield and Hallamshire Women’s County Football League, Division 3, that starts this Sunday at Hillsborough College against Hemsworth South, 2pm kick off.
The training sessions engaged a mix of women from different backgrounds and also varying skill levels, which is important as the club wants to include a wide range of women in the game and break down barriers any women may face when getting involved. This is especially important given that there are 12 men for every woman taking part in football with 91,800 women wanting to play more football, and football is the most popular team sport for women (Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation statistics 2012).
AFC Unity was recently successful with a new Just Play application so that they can carry on providing informal, intermediate training opportunities for women in Sheffield and beyond at the U-Mix Centre, whilst also providing a training session for their registered players at Hillsborough College, with the new season just around the corner.
If you are interested in taking part in our new training sessions, they start from this Saturday, September 20th, 12pm-1pm at the U-Mix Centre, 17 Asline Road, Lowfield, Sheffield, S2 4UJ. It is only £1.00 per session and make sure to bring non-metal studded boots because the surface is astroturf.
We hope to see some new faces at the training sessions starting this Saturday. There are also opportunities for progression into the main team to play affiliated league football too. Participants will also be part of a community rooted football club that will be running projects as a way to break down barriers and engage more women in football and also reduce divisions in society through the sport.
Please get in touch for more either on Twitter, Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to know more about AFC Unity and our training sessions, there is a selection of quotations below regarding some of the players’ experiences with AFC Unity:
“A brilliant club, that is not only about playing football but also about raising awareness for racial, sexual and many other discriminations still happening in football around the world.”
“I really wanted to start playing football again as it was a massive part of my life! I wanted to get involved with AFC Unity particularly because of the ethos and the future of being involved with the team.”
“I got involved because I want to play, have fun, stay fit, meet others and make friends.”
“Very welcoming and friendly bunch which has been great for me as I am fairly shy. Also, I like the way that everyone has a genuine passion for the game and there are clear goals to make the club a permanent fixture.”
“The club is very friendly and understanding. It’s just unique; we are all from different ethnicities and backgrounds coming together to play as one.”
“I think the managing of the whole thing is really good; there’s brilliant communication.”
“I have played for 3 teams previously but not one of them has been as developed and enjoyable as AFC Unity. More people should be aware of the club.”