Olympic legacy for the ladies' game?
WITH the commotion of the Olympics over in the aftermath there is a big emphasis on greater participation in local sports, writes Andy Tate.
One of the minority sports that received a lot of exposure and recognition was female football. The performances were that high that it sparked debates about whether Hope Powell, should take over the men's team as well.
Many have their opinions on the female game and although it is no less strenuous, and some argue a more technical game, it is in reality more akin to the European ticka tacka football used by the ilk of Barcelona than the traditional English long ball game.
But this isn't a new sport, women's football has been in Cornwall for decades past and hopefully will be for decades to come. From humble beginnings of a couple of teams Cornwall has regularly fielded around 20 teams in the leagues.
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Websites show documented leagues going back to 2004 when there were three leagues with 24 teams in the Cornwall Women's Football League (CWFL).
But women's football goes back beyond this, as the first CWFL was run in 1988 with six teams and Mousehole being the first winners. It may go back further, as Illogan and Pelynt are mentioned from the 70s onwards, and there are murmurs of a St Agnes team in the 1950s.
The past ten years have seen massive improvements in the local standard.
Originally the South West Women's Football league, a combination of Devon & Cornwall teams was primarily dominated by Devon clubs, whereas eight of the 11 league teams are now Cornish.
This has left the Cornwall League with only 11 teams this season, but is Cornwall the victim of its success.
The county's greatest achievers are currently Newquay Ladies who play in the third tier of women's football, only two leagues below Arsenal Ladies.
Female clubs appear to suffer more from outside influences than the men's, with studies, families and children taking their toll and once out of the game players find it hard to get back into it. Many fit training and playing around their life commitments and teams are welcoming towards this.
Clubs are spread the throughout the county, in Kilkhampton, Bude, Callington, St Dominick, St Breward, St Teath, Newquay Ladies, Bodmin, Newquay Celtic, Truro, St Agnes, Hayle, Penzance, Falmouth, West Cornwall, Mullion, Dobwalls, Charlestown, Torpoint and Launceston, so there must be one near you.
If you want to get involved or even return to the game, go to your local club and ask about female football. Give it a try, you may surprise yourself and even enjoy it.
Opening fixtures (Sunday):
Cornwall Women's League: Division One: Newquay Celtic v West Cornwall; St Agnes v Bodmin Town. Division Two: Penzance Ladies v Mullion; St Dominick v St Breward.
South West League: Bude Town v Bay; Dobwalls v Launceston; Falmouth Town v Marine Academy Plymouth; Torpoint v Charlestown; Truro City v Taunton Town.