A year ago Fiona Burrage and Monica Cass founded Left Field FC, an all abilities, all minds and all inclusive Football Collective in Norwich. Here, Fiona explains why they’re on a recruitment drive, having just joined the 7-a-side Norwich Women & Girls Football League
My name is Fiona and I’m a photographer and designer. I have a body-care brand called Sop, a co-working space called Studio Inn and a holiday let called the Water Cabin in the Broads National Park. Monica is an architect who is one half of par-avion, an environmentally conscious design partnership who combine traditional craft and modern styling to create unique pieces.
I had the idea for the Left Field Football Collective during the first lockdown and suggested it to Monica whom I had played with and knew for several years. Both being parents and self-employed, we were prioritising everyone/everything but ourselves and knew we needed something for us and our mental wellbeing. The name came during a conversation with another friend when I was describing we wanted the club to be about doing things different. We have a lot of people from the creative industries – and we really are all inclusive.
We are more than a football club. We are a community. There is so much science backed evidence that demonstrates the tangible benefits of exercising together. And, of course, forming friendships. We felt if we were going to use the space on our shirts for anyone, it should be to promote the good that Norfolk & Waveney Mind do.
Football gives me a couple of hours to forget about the routine and not have to be Fiona the mum or Fiona at work. Just Fiona having fun. I always feel physically and mentally better after training.
We are on a recruitment drive because we have just joined the NWGFL 7-a-side league which is competitive. So, whilst we are still all inclusive, we are all too aware that you need a deep squad for an entire season. Especially with women predominately being the primary care provider in the home. When you add in injures and Covid a small squad would make things tricky for us. So, we are very much welcome to new faces.
The new season will really unify us as a team when we can play more competitively against opposition – and also get to try various positions. Matches are on a Sunday and can be all over the county, so it’ll be nice to see other areas too.
We are continuing to grow our club. We’d love to be able to offer more exciting sessions for everyone. And the dream is to create a mixed gender league, other countries offer them – and we’d love to champion something similar in Norfolk.
Featured image: Fiona Burrage (picture credit: Ryan Mason)