No excuse not to play

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FORMER footballers are being urged to return to the beautiful game in Oakham with the launch of a new FA Mars Just Play Centre.

Sport England research suggests that the number of adults playing regular football in England is in decline due to a variety of reasons including a lack of quality facilities and a lack of time. The Just Play programme is a partnership between The Football Association and Mars that aims to reverse that decline by getting adults playing for at least 30 minutes each week.

This year the FA aims to set-up 200 centres across England offering informal kick-abouts and thanks to a partnership between Stevenage Leisure, Oakham Town Partnership and Rutland Veterans FC, one of these new centres will at Catmose Sports Centre.

Catmose Sports coordinator Alex Brockbank said: “The kickabouts are open to all adults of all abilities and it doesn’t matter how long it is since they have kicked a ball.

“I can guarantee anyone turning up will enjoy getting back into playing football.”

Two hourly slots run from 7pm and 8pm on Wednesday evenings for players 16 or over.

The scheme will formally be launched on Sunday when players have the opportunity to play a Leicester Legends side featuring Steve Walsh, Muzzy Izzet and Julian Joachim, at 2pm.

Before the Leicester Legends take centre stage, juniors from Leicester City and FDS West Bromwich Albion squads will play a Royce Rangers team at 11am.

Spectators are welcome to watch the games. The entrance fee for the Legends game is £1 per adult (free for U16s), and there will be an opportunity to have photographs taken with the players and win a signed shirt.

Proceeds from the day will fund future football activities for the children of Rutland.