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Social Soccer having a real kick across West Norfolk

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A new format of football involving a number of top clubs across Europe is going from strength-to-strength in West Norfolk.

Social Soccer, which is run by the College of West Anglia in partnership with King’s Lynn Community Football andAlive Sports Development, is a flexible format of the game where each side is made up with players of different ages and abilities.

It uses the game as a medium to get different areas of the community together and promote integration between different groups.

Darren Gray, a lecturer for sport and leisure at the college, said: “The whole idea of the project is using the game of football to get people together.

“The main project is based in Rome where we were very lucky to be able to visit and get an idea of how it works.

“One of the teams has the dad, son and his three daughters playing in the same side and you’re not going to get that at any other form of the game.

“Our eldest participant is 62 and the youngest is eight. It helps all types of people mix and helps boost their confidence.

“There are team educators and captains appointed and they take responsibility of running their teams.

“The first week we had about 20 people and some weeks we’ve had more than 80, but ideally we’d like more people to get involved.”

Other European partners involved in the project, which also boosts social interaction in the community, include AGC Nice, from France, Levski Sofia, from Bulgaria and Hungarian-based outfit Debreceni.

After visiting Italy, college representatives secured funding to run the project here in the UK.

The main emphasis is to have a football competition that runs over a number of weeks which will eventually culminate in a bigger tournament.

Each team consists of at least one male (17-49), female (17-49), youth player (11-16), an over 50 and a disability player.

Sessions are run between 6 and 7.30pm on Monday’s on the new astro turf at Lynnsport.

Anyone requiring further information or wanting to become involved should email Gray at: Darren.Gray@cwa.ac.uk or visit the Facebook page at: SocialSoccer uk

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