The news that Leisure Centres are reopening this weekend is a wonderful boost for the 6 a side football players of the UK as it means the football that moves the nation is back.
The players in our leagues up and down the nation will be amongst the first in England to benefit as Leisure Leagues make a return for the first time since March.
We have the largest network of leagues anywhere in the world – is an independent provider, not directly affiliated to any governing body, and says Director Tom Nash that is a wonderful benefit at times like this: “The fact that we are proud to stand alone in the field, means we can get started before our competitors. That is nothing new for us, though. Everyone knows we are market leaders, and this just underlines it.”
The leagues are more vital than ever at this period, with Tom suggesting: “The four months of inactivity we have undergone as a nation has been tough for everyone. The effects on obesity are well known. Both the PM Boris Johnson himself and Jenny Harries, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the UK have spoken about it– but also the mental health aspects are important too. People have been isolated, literally, away from their friends and family, and the vital camaraderie that we need has been lost.”
The 6 a side league will see hundreds of local players able to take part and these are players from all abilities, with Tom adding: “The wonderful thing about these leagues is they are a real community hub. Some of our players are top class, while others might not have played football for a long time, it brings everyone together.”
There is a marvellous prize for the winners too with them getting entry into the Leisure Leagues Prize Draw to see them jet to a game in one of Europe’s top leagues. There are also prizes for the runners up, Most Valuable Player and a booby prize for the bottom team. The draw is streamed live each month on Facebook.
Qualified referees will have all equipment provided, together with regular training from the likes of Mark Clattenburg, who is a Leisure Leagues Ambassador.
Leisure Leagues have taken steps to ensure that the leagues are Covid-19 safe, with a string of new measures including asking teams to pay for their games with a card rather than cash and not allowing teams within a metre of the referee.
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