Welcome to the sixth edition of Your Club in Focus, following previous features with Wyberton FC, Immingham Pilgrims AFC, Greenbank FC, Appleby Frodingham FC and Grimsby Ancient Mariners WFC.
This week, we catch up with Mark Hartley, Secretary at Lincoln Griffins Ladies FC…
What is the background to your club?
We were established in 2000 as the first female-only club in Lincolnshire. We’ve had 17 years as a family run club from father to daughter and the last 3 years run by two dedicated friends to grow the female game, who don’t pick and choose who joins, creating an open to all philosophy.
How long have you been involved at the club?
7 years – 3 years as a parent then 4 years as a secretary / welfare officer.
How and why did you get into grassroots football?
I’ve been a coach for 20 years and I love the game. I try to get kids to love sport to get fit and to enjoy the game of football, and get all ability of players to believe in themselves.
Why do you think grassroots football is important to so many people?
It’s great for interacting with others, learning from each other and socialising.
As a club, what do you feel you do best?
We give opportunities to everyone of all abilities and create a fun environment; not just for the girls but for parents too.
What achievements are you and the club most proud of?
Being able to continue and grow, being involved in the community and having families involved for them to have a say. Win, lose or draw, everyone is treated the same.
What are your areas for development as a club?
To continue to grow. As a female-only club we believe this has more focus on the female game and they don’t feel they have to compete against the boy’s teams.
This is a very difficult period for grassroots football as a whole. What measures are being adopted to see the club through these challenging times?
We have had continued support from our committee members and parents who have continued to still pay their fees. We have a vast experience of people on our committee that can provide great knowledge of what’s happening in different sectors and we have encouraged the girls to keep practising where possible and set the odd challenge here and there and post videos to group chats.
If somebody wanted to join the club, in either a playing, coaching or volunteering capacity, how should they get in touch?
Via email, social media (Twitter or Facebook) or via the Lincolnshire FA.