2 December 2023
Last week Bromley Belles, Bromley FC’s women’s recreational football team celebrated their 5th birthday.
Established in 2018, by the Trust’s Women and Girls’ Development Officer, Andrea Ellis, with the support of the club, and funding from the National League Trust, 12 women, rather nervously, turned up to the first session.
Initially aimed at women aged over 30, the Belles ethos, then, as it is now, was to give women, regardless of age or previous experience an opportunity to play recreational football in a safe and non-judgemental environment.
Many older women are part of the ‘missed generation’, never having the opportunity to play football when they were younger, despite loving the game.
The Belles and recreational football aims to change that, giving all women the chance to play the beautiful game, regardless of whether they have played before or not. In the last five years the Belles have welcomed many women, from those that have never kicked a ball before, to those that have returned to football after a long break. Their philosophy has always been to ensure that everyone is welcome and that is why the Belles now has over 80 members playing fun and friendly football.
Over the last five years the Belles have been fortunate to have experienced some amazing memories. Their favourite highlights have included travelling to France in 2019 during the Women’s World Cup to take part in the inaugural ‘Old Girls’ World Cup. Teams from around the world descended for a weekend of fun and friendship in a friendly festival and a World Cup Finals – where the USA came out as World Champions (as they so often have at the FIFA Women’s World cup!).
And who can forget last Summer when we were all treated to the Lionesses winning the Women’s Euros? The Belles showed their support not only by attending the matches but also being invited to take part in an exhibition festival in London’s Fan Park at Trafalgar Square, with the girls making the national news!
More recently the team was invited to St George’s Park, the Home of the England Lionesses, where they took part in a tour and training session…and even managed to meet Sarina Wiegman.
The Belles have also completed many fundraising activities, raising over £5,000 for various charities, as well as donating to foodbanks and collecting much needed supplies for Ukrainian families.
After countless tournaments, and social events from Tough Mudder, paddle boarding to slightly less energetic bingo nights and BBQs, the Belles have also enjoyed their time off the pitch as much as on it. Football is all about being part of a team, and at the Belles many lifelong friends have been made.
With nearly 80 members, including seven of the original 12 players who came to that first session, the Belles continues to grow. This of course would not be possible without the support of both Community Trust and long-term partners and sponsors, Ronin Marketing whose name takes pride of place on their shirts.
As they look forward to the next five years, they are excited to be part of the continued growth of women’s recreational football. After the Lionesses success, Belles now welcome women of all ages, not just over 30s, as they give more women the opportunity to play football regardless of age or previous experience, and still promote fun, football and friendship.
If you are interested in playing recreational football, whether you have kicked a ball before or not, everyone is welcome. Sessions run from 8-9pm on Wednesday evenings. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org