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The Beautiful Game – A walk in the park!

If there is one thing that I’ve learned in life it’s that sports are for everyone. Every day new sports are being created; from Slamball to Quickball. But there is one particular sport that always manages to catch my eye;

A sport developed in 2011 by the Chesterfield F.C Community Trust – Walking football is a slower version of the beautiful game. It’s straight forward and is exactly what it says on the tin:  a standard game of football where players walk instead of run with rules that make it as challenging as regular football. It’s designed to help people get fit or maintain an active lifestyle no matter what their age or ability.

What people would consider as reasons not to get out on the pitch are no issue for this sport – in fact; it’s great for people recovering from injuries and those with reduced mobility. Walking football is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK due to the accessibility it has to all ages and the exposure it’s getting, particularly in 2014 when Barclays used the sport in one of their adverts, since then the amount of people getting involved has skyrocketed. It’s so popular that the FA is bringing in standardised rules for all competitions. Walking football is also great for beginners and is a great form of exercise.


My first exposure to Walking Football was helping an injured friend, who had torn a ligament a year prior to the event and was playing with a group of ex-sports professionals. As though as soon as the referee blew his whistle and the first kick was made, I saw their eyes light up with a fiery competitive spirit that I hadn’t seen in years. Their faces looked joyous as they began to play in a way that I had never seen; the moment someone attempted to run the whistle was blown – it turns out that they had conceded a free kick to the other team. That to me spoke volumes; it’s harder to maintain that control, and just as challenging keeping yourself at a steady pace. It takes skill to win; in fact, it seems harder at that pace. Needless to say, despite their injuries that didn’t prevent them from showing off with a couple of tricks and stunts with the ball. A Keepy-uppy here and there. It just goes to show that there are no limits to football.

After the match was over, both teams shook hands, swapped shirts and even went out for drinks. Walking football not only brings out that competitive spirit, but proved to me that it was a great way to make friends while keeping active.

Now is your chance to rediscover the joys of football. Sessions will consist of games suitable for those looking for a bit of competition as well as those just looking to have fun. See for yourself and join in. Sessions start on Tuesday 1 November and are run by an FA coach, everyone is welcome! So come along and take part in the new season. Click here to find out more.

Post Author: Priya Devandran



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Green fingered residents accept their awards

We were delighted to see so many of our award winning entrants at this year’s Redbridge In Bloom Awards Ceremony at Valentines Mansion on Thursday 13 October.  This year saw many newcomers enter for the first time and a few of these claimed the top spot with their amazing skills in the garden.

Quite a frib16-school-roding-primaryew school groups attend, one of them being Roding Primary who took first place in the Best School Gardening Project. Five of the children came along with the volunteer parents that helped to make it all possible! The Green Fingers Gardening Club, run by Lisa Skingsley, Jemma Gamblin and Donna Byswater, has a core group of around 10 to 15 children who eagerly attend this after school activity and were full of enthusiasm to participate in the competition to create a garden Fit for the Queen.

The current year 5 students were set a task to design a poster around the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations then the Green Fingers Club members selected a design to create.  They chose a design based around a birthday cake created using a tractor tyre that was already in the playground and siting another tyre on top to make the layers.  They then filled it with earth and arranged all the planting and aftercare to maintain their fantastic flower cake.

The children that came to accept the award on behalf of the club were delightful and were so excited to be at the awards ceremony and obviously proud of their achievements.  They were so thrilled to see their garden project appear on the screen as photos of the winning gardens played on a loop throughout the evening.


Roding Primary took first place in the Best School Gardening Project

It is gratifying to see that children can enjoy such a glorious past time and will hopefully grow up appreciating the flora and fauna around them.

Another new winner this year was for Best Communal Gardens which was won by Frating


Frating Crescent in Woodford Green won Best Communal Gardens

Crescent in Woodford Green. Fourteen of the households contribute towards plants, shrubs and have even funded a tree to create a beautiful environment in which to live. Retired residents Bill Hinds and David Cracknell are responsible for the hard work involved to create and maintain this little oasis which is appreciated and enjoyed by this small community. David attended to collect the award on behalf of the neighbours and told me how they had been pleased when Area Committee money funded the planting of 7 trees around 10 years ago which helped to improve the look of the area, and Bill and David have built upon this over the years and these trees now have beautiful flower beds planted around them. This is a great example of the community working together to create civic pride, congratulations to all involved.

For a full list of this year’s winners visit the website.

Post Author: Cathy Pace

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Open Mic Poetry Night

Yesterday was National Poetry Day and all around the country readings, poetry slams and open mic sessions took place.  The theme this year was messages.  One of the authors, Michaela Morgan, who I follow on facebook, secretly left poems in envelopes on the seats of a train heading North from St Pancras.  She hoped it would brighten someone’s day.

20161006_184013At Redbridge Central Library, we celebrated with our own Open Mic event, which was held downstairs in the Teen area. A small but select audience enjoyed hearing a range of poems. We combined the theme with Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, resulting in the messages in dreams. It was probably not a good idea to get me started on the subject as my brain goes into overdrive when I sleep and I have an over-abundance of material to draw from.

Luckily for the audience, we started the event with poems by a couple of children who read from a book of classic poetry they had borrowed from the children’s library.  It was lovely to see their enthusiasm and eagerness to read aloud to a group of adults and they really made the event memorable.  A few more poets read their work, including a girl who happened to be passing and searched files on her laptop for suitable pieces to read.

After I’d lowered the mood with my nightmare recounts, we ended the night on a more upbeat note, with a poem  called Warning: When I am Old I shall wear Purple by Jenny Joseph,  which can be found on here on poem hunter.

Post Author: Nina Simon

Mind’s Eye
by Nina Simon

In the early dawn
when the mind moves between worlds
and dreams bind me still
to the cold slab of night
I hold onto the lingering image
of you picking up leaf swirls from the stream.

Their Autumn tint is gold,
glinting in the sinking sun.
You look at me,
crush them in your palm.

There are tears in your eyes
as you open your hand
‘we are but dust,’ you say,

Tiny particles catch on the wind,
I turn away

when I look back,
I’m alone once more.