Twickenham girl’s football club frustrated as children’s sport locked down

The founder of a highly popular girl’s football club in Twickenham has bemoaned the Government’s decision to ban children’s team sports during the second national lockdown.

Since being founded in 2015, Orleans Park-based Twickenham Cygnets FC has recruited over 135 players across five different age groups and the club has become one of the biggest and most successful girl’s football teams in the area.

Having resumed training earlier this summer following the end of the first lockdown the club now faces another month without action due to the second national lockdown which starts tomorrow.

With schools staying open the decision to halt children’s sport has been criticised by some, with a prominent #KeepKidsActive campaign running on Twitter, and Cygnets founder Eamonn Newell is among those who are unhappy with the decision after the club had followed all necessary rules over the past months.

He said: “All of the girls and all of the parents had been delighted that we could be back on the football field again.

“I really expected it. I wasn’t surprised, but it was disappointing. All of our players and parents were braced for the worst.

“We’ve followed the guidance that we’d been given from the FA to the letter and we’ve got strict COVID guidelines in place. In terms of complying with rules it had been going really well.

“I’m probably more hopeful than optimistic that we can return in December.”

The club is part of the 100FC initiative, which encourages more women to join the game of coaches, and Newell hopes that the club can benefit further from this scheme when training can resume.

He said: “We were part of the scheme last season and managed to get two of our mums through, and they’re now qualified as level one coaches.

“As soon as that scheme opens up again, we’ll be going out to the parents of the players to see who else would be interested. We’re quite keen to grow the number of female coaches at the club.”

Featured image credit: Twickenham Cygnets

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