I am writing to tell you about the Give Us Back Our Game campaign and to see if you and everyone associated with futsal would like to support the fastest growing youth welfare movement in the UK. I have a strong suspicion that everybody who loves futsal will help us to promote real change in grassroots football.
Give Us Back Our Game was developed in October 2006 by youth football coaches, parents, academics and politicians concerned about the welfare of young players currently taking part in organised football in the UK.
Today’s children learn from the grown-ups. Without the freedom of the streets and playing fields, their early experiences of football are organised, supervised and coached. They have no real say in what happens, and they don’t have time to develop, learn and fall in love with the beautiful game.
We at Give Us Back Our Game feel that the problem areas are:
* Football is no longer the children’s game – it is controlled by adults;
* Often, the same children are on the sidelines as subs or omitted every game;
* Coaches and parents can too often be seen screaming from the touchlines;
* Winning is prioritised before fun and development;
* There is not enough free play where children can solve their own problems;
* Children are not encouraged to express their skills on the pitch;
* Football is no longer the beautiful game: it’s ugly.
Give Us Back Our Game have already had many pledges of support from clubs and concerned coaches in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The Give Us Back Our Game National Fun Day will take place on 17 June 2007. There will be national as well as local 4 v 4 football events at hundreds of venues and local, regional and national media coverage. What can you or your organisation do?
You are the best person to decide how best you or your organisation can help support real youth player development in the UK.
You may wish to add your name or your organisation’s name to the hundreds of supporters across the UK to e-mail our website and lend their support. You may wish to organise your own event in June 2007. You may even wish for your company to lend sponsorship support to the guiding ethos of Give Us Back Our Game. Perhaps you could provide a link to the Give Us Back Our Game website, listed below. Simply, you may wish to forward this e-mail or the website details to other like-minded individuals.
Whatever you do, you will help to send a strong message to youth football administrators in the UK that the childhood experiences that you had when you were young are well worth preserving. For further information about the ethos and philosophy of the Give Us Back Our Game campaign, log onto: www.giveusbackourgame.co.uk
Respectfully and with many thanks,
Paul Cooper and Rick Fenoglio
Give Us Back Our Game