Week 228 (24 February - 4 March 2018)
The UK’s largest five-a-side football tournament ‘the FA People’s Cup’ returned this week and is set to get more than 50,000 people playing across 278 different venues over the next few months.
The competition has taken place annually since 2015, mirroring the popular format of a former competition, the FA Umbro Fives. The competition resembles a 5-a-side version of the world-renowned FA Cup, famed for its magical moments and historic upsets, but with the ultimate aim to offer opportunities for players of all abilities and ages to keep active, make friends and have fun.
The competition has 18 categories, from under-14 girls to men's over-50 walking football. There are also four disability categories, as well as the indoor game ‘futsal’. Over 7,500 teams are due to take part in the competition, which is free to enter and offers finalists of each category the chance to play at St. Georges Park, home of the English national team’s training complex, on 28-29 April.
Georgina Lewis, Head of Marketing for the FA Group, outlined the goals of the tournament in a recent interview with Campaign:
“The aim of the tournament is around the grassroots game and allowing everyone around the country to play football. The FA wants to make the game as inclusive as possible so has been working on making the tournament more diverse. It is really important for us that everyone has a great experience.”
Competitors across the country, of all demographics, have felt the excitement that the tournament brings. Carol Bates, who plays for Crawley Old Girls, said:
“If you could bottle the buzz from all the older women playing football, you'd be a millionaire.”
This buzz does not stop with the players either. Friends, families and fans are encouraged to come and support their teams. Already this week, there has been chanting, fancy dress costumes, and team mascots on display. The FA is also using the competition to provide opportunities for aspiring football bloggers, YouTubers, and writers.
The FA People’s Cup enables football lovers across the country to get involved, whether it is playing, supporting, or filming. The inclusivity of the FA People’s Cup has no boundaries and is destined to grow in size and stature in years to come. For providing a platform for people all over the country to engage in exercise, the FA People’s Cup is JTA Communicator of the Week.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons