And so the year has flown by. It has been another amazing 12 months of sporting endeavour here in Sedgefield. Scanning back through the monthly updates for Sedgefield News, I am once again taken aback by the breadth and depth of activities and achievements by people of all ages within our community.
As I sit typing this, thanks to some of the work that I do in my day job, I am acutely aware that there is an inactivity epidemic sweeping across Europe and that the UK is facing an obesity crisis, particularly among the younger generations. And of course, Sedgefield is not immune from that, but we also have a core culture on our little patch of the planet that encourages and inspires young people to get active from a very young age.
As a community, we provide countless opportunities for folk to participate, making it so easy and welcoming for anyone to have a go, at whatever level suits them. And then Sedgefield’s many coaches nurture talent and strive to help those with aptitude and ambitions achieve their potential (in some cases, despite a chronic lack of facilities). Thanks to this cocktail, Sedgefield is abuzz with sport in some form pretty much every day of the year (yes, I’m looking at you, Christmas Day parkrunners!)
All of this is underpinned by volunteers – coaches, marshals, referees, caterers, ‘taxis’, club administrators and any number of other roles that are essential for grass roots sport to exist, let alone thrive. If you are a volunteer, then thank you. Believe me, your hard work is hugely appreciated by those who benefit from it and it’s thanks to you that we never have any difficulty finding content to fill this monthly sports update.
Thirteen months ago, SYFC U9s came about quite by accident and in very quick time.
At a child’s birthday party a parent remarked about how many good footballers there were in one class at Sedgefield primary school. This set Mal Dickenson thinking.
Within hours he had texted SYFC secretary, David Ryder, seeking permission to form a new junior team at the U8s level.
Permission granted, Mal and Chris McGirr had to work quickly; it was mid October and The Russell Foster winter league started just two weeks later. “We had no kit, no sponsor and even less clue!” says Mal. “Luckily, the village of Sedgefield stepped up. The Co-op bought us a strip, Right Lines Communication some training equipment, and Marc Stanley some training kit. Since then, the progress (the primary aim) and the success, which wasn’t even thought about initially, have been remarkable.
The first training session was on Friday 3rd November 2017, and the next morning the team played their very first match, beating Swalwell 7-0. They we were off and running. The results and the trophies kept coming, but that wasn’t the point. The lads were playing properly, passing out from the back, making correct decisions, expressing themselves, but most of all having fun.
During the summer the squad graduated to U9 football, After winning the league and cup double, Sedgefield’s only ever Olympian stepped in as the team’s sponsor. Two more lads from the village were signed and the progress continued. The philosophy of the team is that, at this stage, results are just a bonus; it’s the way they play matters. It seems to work. After just 13 months the lads have been promoted up 5 divisions and, at the midway point of this Winter league, are again sitting in a promotion spot with a game in hand and the top team to play. Several local villages seem to have junior football teams in abundance yet SYFC has team at U9, U10 and U14 levels only. Hopefully the success of these lads might inspire one or two other potential coaches to step up and take on a team at a new age group? Anyone interested can contact SYFC club secretary on 07515 020766.
The morning after world champion Nick Matthew’s December visit and exhibition play at Sedgefield Squash Club, the club’s juniors enthusiastically took part in the annual Junior Team Handicap. This pitted 24 youngsters into teams of six, all kept sustained by the ready supply of mince pies, biscuits and snacks brought by the coaching team. The results couldn’t beat the print deadline for this issue, but we’ll bring confirmation of the victorious team next time, along with news of how the juniors fared when they entered the club’s overall individual handicap competition.
Sedgefield’s senior teams will all begin the second half of their league campaigns looking for more victories, after the autumn matches left a couple of the sides looking up from the wrong half of their divisions. The most successful team so far has been the men’s 4th team, sitting comfortably in a promotion spot at this time.
The rest of the teams will be keen to ensure that they also have something to shout about at the end of March, if for no other reason than to keep the members of the 4th team quiet! As ever, squash club membership enquiries should go to Sue Smith at email@example.com.
Sedgefield St Edmunds FC are currently sitting on top of the Durham Premier League after a ten game league and cup winning spree. They are also in the last sixteen of the county cup and hope to progress further, ahead of their next tie away to Consett in the new year.
All connected with the club feel that if current form and standards are maintained for the rest of the season, anything is possible.
One of the key benefits of being a member is the entitlement to reduced bar prices
via a swipe card. The New Year is the time when membership renewal is needed in
order to continue enjoying these benefits, and the club is introducing a new online
membership system in January.
This will allow existing and new members to pay their annual subs online, and with the process using the secure PayPal system, it means the club won’t have to ask for bank or credit card details. Cash payments can still be accepted at the bar and more information about this new scheme should by now have been received by existing members, but you can send any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social membership costs only £10, or family memberships for two adults plus children is only £35, which for families with keen cricketing children is fantastic value. Membership subscriptions help enormously towards the cost of running the club and the volunteers would like to take this opportunity to thank all members and visitors for their fantastic support during 2018, and they hope to see you all again in 2019. The completion of the bar refurbishment has seen an immediate return with a number of private function bookings.
The clubhouse can be hired by members and non-members – see the Facebook page for details of how to make booking enquiries. You can easily keep up to date with everything going on by liking the club’s Facebook page or following the Twitter feed.