As a football player, Kirsten missed no-pressure, sociable football, and was unable to find a club that was suitable for her. Her struggle to find a club inspired her to start her own, and in 2009 Kirsten set up a low-commitment, non-competitive recreational football club in Edinburgh, to encourage more women to get involved in sports.
I wanted to enable women to participate in social football and netball by shifting the focus of physical activity to being about fun and a way for women to connect, rather than competitive sporting ability.
Through collaborating with many other organisations such as LGBT Health, Kirsten received a good turn-out for her football sessions, which emphasized the social elements of playing football, as well as offering accessible training for all who attended.
Having trialled her idea, Kirsten sort funding through Firstport’s Start It Award, in the hope that the funding and guidance would help to develop her idea, and broaden her impact.
Thanks to help from Firstport, LaRFs runs regular inclusive football and netball sessions (walking and running versions) in Glasgow and Edinburgh for women regardless of age, ability, or fitness level. These sessions are zero-commitment, low cost, and pay-per-play. As a women-run organisation, we also offer coaching and volunteering opportunities to participants so they can develop technical and personal skills.
Her social enterprise, LaRFs, is now continuously growing. It aims to address some of the gaps that exist in current physical activity, and make it about having (affordable) fun rather than competitive sporting ability. LaRFs key goal is to create a space where women can participate in sport ‘whoever they are’ ‘as they are’ and ‘whenever they can’ without judgement.
LaRFS has now branched out and has begun to run workshops with organisations as a way to help people across projects and/or departments connect, team-build and have a break away from their desks.
Going forwards, Ladies Recreational Football and Sports is excited to offer walking football and walking netball team-building/wellbeing sessions to organisations. These sessions help colleagues to connect, have a new learning experience, and be physically active. The walking version of recreational football/netball means men and women of any age/fitness can participate. It’s also a great leveller – people who have played before need to think differently and people with no playing experience can quickly begin to learn. Above all, it’s a lot of fun!
LaRFs has seen great development since receiving their funding, and have high aspirations for the future of the enterprise. They’re continuously welcoming more and more women into the club, and are slowly but surely redefining recreational physical activity.
Ladies Recreational Football and Sports aspires to making it as easy, friendly, inclusive, and relaxed as possible to participate in physical activity. Are you interested in trying (or returning to) recreational football and netball? Maybe your organisation would like to promote team-building as well as mental and physical wellbeing? If so, do it with smiles and LaRFs!
Want to find out more? Contact LaRFs on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit them on social media
Football Facebook: https://facebook.com/football.larfs
Netball Facebook: https://facebook.com/netball.larfs