Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Royal Wedding!

Hello everyone,

I hope you have made the most of our bank holiday weekend. If you didn't, you have another opportunity this weekend to make up for it!

The Royal wedding has finally come round. David Cameron has announced last week, that street parties are not just allowed, but encouraged. Are you having a street party? If so, please send us a snap of you and your little one, and we will get the photos on our website! (dbrownlie@littlekickers.co.uk)

I am lucky enough to be attending a street party in Bucklebury, the same little village that Miss Kate Middleton grew up in, and the street that her parents still live in. We live very close to each other, but needless to say, lead quite different lives! She has potential to be the Queen of England, and I have the potential to be crowned king of Table Tennis in a competition with my house-mates (I will obviously keep you updated with my progress!).

There is a lot of focus and attention surrounding our village at the minute. My Mum is claiming it is because they have mistakenly identified her as the Queen. To the extent, she had to ask the newspaper photographers to move so that she could move her car. Rumours flying around that Piers Morgan and Oprah Winfrey are staying in Bucklebury over the next few days to interview villagers has also made her be in her Sunday best at all times!

What ever your opinion on the Royal family. I do not think you can question their ability to create an event that rebuilds true British spirit. I, for one, did not think I would get taken in by the buzz created by it, but there is no doubt I will be joining the masses with a flag with the Union Jack on it waving it frantically at anyone who cares to look!

I hope you have a fantastic week, and enjoy your well deserved time off at the weekend, if unfortunately you have to work, I still hope you enjoy the spectacle.

Enjoy!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

A wise man once said....

A wise man once said 'to be better than someone else, you must do two things'

1) Never give away too much advice.


Luckily for us, we have a slightly different angle! With over 600 coaches around the UK alone, we, as a company, are constantly coming up with new ideas and ways in which we can engage our children. Our excellent creative coaches who work tirelessly to make the sessions as fun as possible come up with new games and ways of delivering a message in a fun and exciting way. The beauty of having the company working on a franchise basis is that each coach, franchisee and customer, is wanting everyones area to be just as successful. Which is why, when a new game or idea is dreamed up, we can distribute it to everyone across the UK (and worldwide) with ease. Some of our best games have been created by the kids themselves; we encourage that confidence and creativity and we nurture it with the imaginative games we play.

I hope by now the penny has dropped with the opening quote...!

Have you got any ideas on how we can improve our services? Do you fancy yourself as a coach and have an idea for a game? We are constantly coming up with new activities, but we would love to hear about your ideas as well!

If you do have any ideas, or thoughts on how we can improve (if it's possible!), then either leave a comment underneath, or send me an email directly to, dbrownlie@littlekickers.co.uk

We look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Cool Runnings

I was 9. Sat in my primary school hall, legs crossed – arms folded, eagerly awaiting the Christmas video. The Christmas video was simply an annual event whereby one child in the school was selected to bring in a video of their choice for the whole school to watch on the final day before the Christmas holidays. That year, one of the boys in the older class had brought in ‘Cool Runnings.’ Now, this film was a 15, and all over the video, and the adverts before hand, it highlighted that it was a 15. The school hall however was full of 50 children aged between 8 and 11! So needless to say, football stickers were stuck over the video where the 15 certificate symbol used to be, and the video was fast-forwarded until the start of the film! Good times.

Now to the reason I mention this - there is a link I promise! I was sat yesterday, reliving my childhood as “Cool Runnings” was shown on BBC1. And it was still as funny as I remember it all those years ago. Admittedly it was funny for different reasons, I actually got the jokes this time round whereas back then, I thought it was funny that they were using naughty words! Despite being a comedy, it is quite an inspiring film. A film about a group of men that wanted to be the best that they could be. A Jamaican bobsleigh team, against all odds and in spite of negative comments from all the people that laughed at them, they continued to work hard and they achieved their goals. Despite all the odds stacked against them, they tried their hardest, practiced come rain or shine, and got what they deserved.

Much alike the newly crowned Barcelona of English non-league football – Crawley Town. Pitched up against Manchester United, in front of nearly 70,000 fans, they did themselves proud; everything they had worked for during the season was repaid in a moment.

I think about people who have dedicated their lives to achieving exactly what they want. I look forward to watching the ‘on your marks, get set, where the hell did he go race’ involving Usain Bolt. However, we only get to watch that 10 seconds, win or lose. He has spent his whole life working hard to be at the top of his game. It’s amazing when you think about it. Usain Bolt will tell you that it is achievable. OK, I realise that he is a slightly different specimen; I can’t see myself doing 100m in less than 10 seconds in a car, let alone running it! But the idea holds a lot of truth. If we work at something for long enough and hard enough, it can be achievable.

OK, enough of my sermon. Lecture over! I have only ever had two comments on here, so I feel I should say something that is likely to urge a discussion…

Manchester United treble winners 2011!? Definitely.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

American Foot(Hand)ball

Picture this… an early start on a Saturday morning for the monthly Little Kickers Masterclass at the Fulham Brunswick club, followed by a frantic rush to make kick off for what proved to be a tiring Football match in the swirling wind. To then be woken up on Sunday morning bright and early by the alarm so I could travel to South Wales to see our new franchisees in Pontypridd. Needless to say, it was a long and tiring weekend!

The only reason I even mention my busy weekend was purely because I had planned to keep my eyes open for a rare viewing of American Football - to watch the final of the Superbowl. I tried my best, and managed to stay up until half time. In what proved to be a thrilling game, it was interesting to see the intensity of the sport. With my last blog in mind, it was interesting to see the way in which the players were glamorised as super-stars, there almost seemed no link between a “typical” American and these highly paid American Football ‘gods.’ – I am still trying to find the reason it’s called Football, as there doesn’t seem a lot of foot action at all!

American Football is a million miles away from English Football. For example, the ‘coin toss ceremony’ took over 10 minutes to complete, I still remember the days when the ref would forget his coin and you’d have to pick the hand with the blade of grass in! I was watching the Superbowl match with a few friends, and at times we were laughing about how over the top we thought some of the commentary and displays were. It was quite funny; however, this is what I love about Sport. It’s so diverse, and yet it brings so many people together. I have never seen an American Football match before last years’ Superbowl, but I have a feeling it is going to become an annual event for me now.

Sport as a whole has always brought people together, rivalry has sometimes driven people apart, but the positives clearly outweigh the negatives. Sport gives elite players a route into professionalism, it gives regular players a chance to keep fit and meet new people, and for fans, sport gives a social identity and a level of escapism.

I love it, and by the fact that you are even reading this blog, I can say with some confidence that you do too. What ever your reason for being involved in sport, being a player or a fan, I hope you enjoy Little Kickers.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Super players are fantastic but their wages are atrocious!

Sitting in my office in my new house, I found myself tuning into Sky Sports to find out the latest on the Premier League’s notoriously busy transfer deadline day. Fernando Torres is reportedly worth £50 million. Yes. £50 million!!

I understand that the money isn’t “real” within football, as outrageous sums of money change hands within the game and it stays in the industry. However there’s no denying that a lot of money graces the palms of the players, and greases the palms of the agents. Some of the figures that come out of the sport are laughable. I can barely imagine someone paying £50 for my services as a footballer, let alone £50 million!

I can’t help feeing that sometimes the real passion for the game runs the risk of being usurped by the money, glamour and publicity which nowadays seem to go hand-in-in hand with the professional sport. Are we risking losing the true passion of the game, thanks to elevated salaries and negative publicity surrounding footballers’ “lifestyles”? Remember, football is a game, a pastime, a hobby, a form of escapism for some: it was even reportedly played between enemy soldiers to celebrate Christmas. Football has long been a significant characteristic of the English nation, which has produced many great players and consistently delivers one of the best and most competitive leagues in the world.

With all this money within the game, and the business that goes on behind the scenes, it does worry me that the heart and soul of football runs the risk of being lost. The glamorous lifestyles and scandalous antics of players and teams is fast becoming more important than the game itself. I remember the way my Mum used to talk about Bobby Charlton – she made him seem so down-to-earth that you could imagine walking into a pub and sitting down and having a chat with him. The sport always used to have an image of accessibility, which was encouraged by people in the industry. Now it appears that there’s been a dramatic shift in the other direction, and that the players and teams are portrayed as heroes, and given almost God-like status, thus rendering all the players quite inaccessible to us mere mortals. In my opinion, this can only have a negative effect on young kids entering the sport - why would a young boy or girl be enthusiastic about getting involved in a sport where they cannot relate to anybody that plays it?

I hope we at Little Kickers can go some way in changing the face of football, and keeping the enjoyment and motivation within our own classes. With the FA now promising a great shift in terms of grass roots football, which we’re proud to have been asked to get involved in, we can assure you we will be doing everything we can to keep planting, and nurturing, the seeds.
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