UP THE LEFT WING #1

Hello and welcome to our all new website. My name is Michael Meadows, Head Coach at COLFC Community, and this is the first entry in a brand new feature we’ll be adding to the webpage… a quarterly(ish) update where we’ll be keeping our friends, supporters and the wider community across the City up to date on all of our activities.

FOOTBALL FOR EVERYONE

2018 was a huge year for us. It was brilliant to see the number of regular users of our flagship #FootballForEveryone session steadily increase, which was a fantastic opportunity for Sean and I to really get to know our core of players from around the World. It has been incredibly rewarding for both of us to see so many familiar faces coming back week in, week out, and playing football with a smile on their faces each Sunday. A large debt of gratitude for this is owed to our core of local lads who also participate in the #FootballForEveryone sessions each Sunday and help everything run smoothly.

When working on developing the structure of our football, Sean and I have consciously looked to use the sessions as a method of integration for our large community of participants seeking refuge in our City. It is really important for us that our refugee footballers do not feel segregated or ostracized when adapting to life in Liverpool. For this reason we have ensured we continue to build a community of like-minded local lads to participate, with mixed sides being picked each week.

This has enabled all of our participants to build strong friendships through mutual love of football, whether you’re a local lad from Wavertree, or a refugee footballer from Iraq or Syria. It has been wonderful for Sean and I to see the banter, camaraderie and unity that our footballers share each Sunday; witnessing ‘community’ in the truest sense of the word and seeing how football simply does not discriminate.

WALKING/VETS FOOTBALL

Aside from the #FootballForEveryone sessions, 2018 saw the start of our foray into establishing a weekly ‘Walking Football’ session for members of the community looking for a slightly more slower paced offering! The use of inverted commas there is intended, as we’ve often found the meaning of the word ‘walking’ to be subjective (not naming any names!). The walking football group already has an established core of regular participants, largely through promotion via word of mouth at COLFC fixtures.

We run a weekly fixture alongside #FootballForEveryone at Everton Park each Sunday, usually at 12pm. Drop us a message on Twitter at @COLFCCommunity or submit an inquiry on the website and Sean or myself will send you the details, or grab one of us at any COLFC fixture or check out our event calendar at www.colfccommunity.co.uk/calendar/

OFF THE PITCH

Off the pitch, over recent months we’ve been working hard to ensure that 2019 is a huge year for our Community organization. Throughout 2018 the program was funded by generous donations from participants, grants from various organizations and funding from our management committee members. To make fundraising easier, we’ve added a regular donation option on the website for anyone who’d like to assist us.  Please take a look at http://colfccommunity.co.uk/community-ultras/ if you would like to help.

In 2018 we continued our work helping those less fortunate than ourselves and donated around 40 childrens coats, 40 children’s pyjamas and 40 womens coats to local charities. As well as this we have also been kitting out our football for everyone lads with clothing suitable for football and clothing suitable for this cold weather! We have had great support from people when fundraising for this and a huge thanks and a big shout out to Donna Scully at the Carpenters Group who donated a massive £250 to help us equip our loads with warm clothing for the winter months.

THE FUTURE

Over the coming months, we are working on a number of exciting plans for our various projects, and no doubt some more fantastic PARTISAN gigs with brilliant panels of keynote speakers. So far we’ve had an event celebrating inclusion and diversity in football, with guest speakers including Emy Onoura, Alex Culvin, Paul Williams and Earl Jenkins & had a brilliant Mental Health event chaired by COLFC Welfare Officer and star of our walking football team, Mike Caulfield.

We’re also working on our next update regarding our Summer football programme, with the return of (the dreaded) ‘pre-season’ fitness sessions for our squads in addition to midweek coaching sessions. These were loads of fun last summer, and we definitely reaped the rewards on the pitch as we ended 2018 unbeaten in competitive fixtures!

We’ve also got a fantastic new scheme that we will shortly announce but are still piecing together the final bits of the somewhat large puzzle!

That’s about it for now. Thanks once again for your continued support of our organization – we’re immensely proud of each and every member of our community and very much looking forward to sharing #inclusion, #diversity and #friendship through football in 2019.

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