Here comes the Summer – By Luke Chadwick

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With the summer holidays just around the corner, it always brings up huge excitement for children up and down the country as the school year comes to an end. I remember as a child how excited I would become counting down the days before the summer hols arrived and be absolutely buzzing when they did. And after having children of our own it would always bring back incredible memories to see them arrive home from school smiling from ear to ear after the last day of term.

Back in my day as a child the summer holidays meant one thing and that was of course football and plenty of it! Every morning I would be up and out playing football most of the day. That would be out in the garden playing by myself or with my brother and then down the park playing with friends and I used to love it! Headers and volleys, World Cup, Wembley singles, or if there was enough of us a big match, I quite simply couldn’t get enough and neither could my friends. I don’t know where we found the energy to play for hours on end.

One particular memory I have of the summer holidays was when I was around 12 years old and my friends and I got our hands on a full size net for a goal, it was like we had won the lottery, we transported it to our local primary school and spent hours putting it up in a box shape just like they looked on the telly, it was a work of art! Everytime one of us scored in the net we celebrated like we’d won the World Cup, it felt so special and we had so much fun until the school caretaker kicked us off the field! The memories I have of that day are so vivid, it’s incredible what we remember from childhood and how so many of mine are shaped by the beautiful game.

Now of course as you grow up and become an adult the summer holidays are very different as work and life take over. For the main part of my working life the summer holiday season would be pre-season and the start of another league campaign as a professional footballer. But since retiring from the game and becoming part of the Football Fun Factory the summer holidays have really got their buzz back in my life.

At the start of my journey with the FFF as a Head Coach running our Summer Fun Camps was very special, seeing the children’s eyes light up when they saw our inflatable pitch, inflatable dartboard, and inflatable goal set up was incredible, a football paradise for children to enjoy and have fun. If the FFF was about when I was a kid I would have absolutely adored it and would be nagging my Mum to take me everyday! As a coach I would set up early and leave late so my coaches and I could have a play, diving around on the inflatable goal making worldie saves was so much fun and made me feel like a kid again!

I’m so proud that come the summer tens of thousands of children will enjoy our Football Fun Camps expertly delivered by our superstar Head Coaches making memories that will last a lifetime. Football has so much power to impact life in a positive way, our Football Fun Camps bring children of the local community together for something quite unique and more importantly than anything else in a fun, inclusive environment.

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