New Banbury area baby and toddler football club - BabyBallers - launches this week
BabyBallers baby toddler football club ready to kick off in Banbury this summer
As hope turns to the World Cup for football to come home, there’s been a surge in interest from kids across Banbury to kick off their own football journey.
A new baby and toddler football club, BabyBallers, has launched this week to coach children from the age of 16 months to 5 years through football and child development sporting activities.
Classes are currently running on weekends from Dewey Sports Centre in Bloxham and Mollington Village Hall but the team behind the club hopes to expand to other locations around Banbury and to weekdays too.
Business partners Sally Anne Butters and Lucy Archer already own a successful PR agency based in Bloxham Grove, but saw the need for early years sports as lockdown restrictions placed such a strain on families and their youngest children.
“My son has just turned one and has had limited opportunities to socialise during pandemic restrictions,” said Lucy. “Getting together with other parents and giving our children the chance to make friends and interact in a fun environment was a big reason for us launching BabyBallers in the area.”
Sally, who has lived in Bloxham for six years and has three godchildren living locally, said: “It’s been an exciting time for football fans and even our youngest children have had a wonderful taster of the spirit that a team sport can create.
"At BabyBallers, we believe in learning through play. Our classes help kids prepare for their future lives at school and beyond. I love seeing the teams using the sports fields around the village, but we wanted to set something up where those who are a bit younger can be kept warm and safe inside but still benefit from those team activities and learn through play.”
Because BabyBallers start from as young as 16 months, classes allow fundamental movement skills to be picked up from the earliest point. Using a variety of learning techniques, shapes, colours and numbers are introduced to little ones via a range of football-related activities.
Through regular attendance you start to see improvements in coordination and movement, with dribbling and kicking becoming a little more controlled! Then, as the kids get older, they play more complex games and develop their footballing ability but always with the emphasis on having fun.
Lucy added: “But we think there are so many more benefits to taking part in a BabyBallers class than that! Children enjoy socialising with others of a similar age and parents get involved so have a great time too. We’ve had such a tricky time through the pandemic, and this is a great way to ease back in to meeting new people and having fun whilst learning some key skills."
BabyBallers are offering taster sessions at both their Mollington and Bloxham clubs, visit www.babyballers.com/find-a-class to register or find out more. Discounts are available for parents and carers working in the NHS or military.