There is no better feeling of getting my son up on a Saturday morning, so he can play football again. The COVID-19 pandemic impact has been extremely difficult for adults to handle and manage, but for our children it has been considerably worse.
Prior to the pandemic my son who currently plays for Leigh Genesis Cosmos (Saturday U12 team) and Leigh Genesis Reactors (Sunday U12 team) he was training for an hour on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and playing Saturday and Sunday mornings, this benefitted his fitness, social interaction, health and wellbeing, plus many other benefits! Suddenly it was all gone taken away to nothing.
As all parents have had to do, they soldiered on through trying to motivate our children, and juggle work as well, it’s been difficult prise them from their Xboxe’s or PlayStation’s or their phones and tablets, many have gained weight and lost fitness, as well as the most valuable aspect of grass roots football “being part of a team” and social interaction. The damage the lockdown has produced could be irreversible due to the lasting mental impact.
But light finally appeared when prime minister Boris Johnson announced lockdown for grass roots football was being lifted, and our clubs could open up and training/games could resume, I myself cheered and I’d hasten a guess a collective cheer from all parents who’s children are involved in grass roots, or any other sports gave out a cheer and relieved sigh. It was the news we desperately needed to hear finally.
For me I was really pleased at how our club “Leigh Genesis” handled the reopening it was done proactively and extremely structured, clear and precise, with everything geared up for the safety of both our kids and the parents/volunteers/coaches it was so encouraging I applaud everything the guys have done to get the kids back playing, which I’m sure has been replicated by all clubs across my area as well as nationwide.
So for me as a parent to wake my son up on a weekend, watch him get his kit on, shin pads and socks, boots cleaned water done ready to go, it’s brilliant!! He’s not match fit as most aren’t but his enthusiasm is excellent, standing freezing cold on the sidelines watching is where I want to be, seeing his red face running around with his team mates is a result, forget the goals, forget the wins/losses etc just seeing him out there running and laughing is what it’s about. Their fitness will improve and as the bonds grow stronger the improvements will come, but for now the feeling of being back on the sidelines, listening to the coaches yelling and watching grass roots football return is the best reward so far. I hope and pray we continue without interruption and these kids get to do what they love “playing football“