As Australia watches the Matildas rising through the FIFA Women’s World Cup, love of the world game led two coaches to start up Cooktown’s newest sporting group, the Reefs Cooktown Football Club, with sign ons opening this week.
Local couple John and Jen Jenyns had been dreaming of starting a soccer club for several years, and recently decided the time was right.
Fellow local mum Cherie Maher, who has 20 years’ junior soccer coaching under her belt, had also been hoping to start a club and put a post asking for expressions of interest on Facebook just when the Jenyns family were also wanting to kick off their soccer group.
“I was studying before and couldn’t do it, but now I’ve finished and was keen to get it started and Cherie happened to put the post up on Facebook at the same time we were thinking about it,” Ms Jenyns explained.
“It was just a random coincidence, and our son Benji, he’s mad about soccer, he loves it, which is our primary reason for doing this and now we’re all available and it just gelled and worked.”
The dynamic group quickly got to work, signing up with Football Queensland and registering the Reefs Cooktown Football Club, with a sign on day planned for this Wednesday 16 August from 3.30pm at Endeavour Christian College.
“Right now we’ve got two age groups – under 6 to 10 years old and under 11 to 16 years old – but we’re hoping to grow pretty quickly and as more coaches come on board, we’ll be able to expand,” Ms Jenyns said.
“We’re hoping to play indoors for the winter and outdoors for the summer, and for the moment we’ll be doing skills and drills and children will have the opportunity to earn a ball licence and then they can play.”
Mr Jenyns said soccer was a great inclusive sport which anyone could play and practice with minimal experience or equipment.
“You can come in cold turkey and just grab a ball and go kick it at that goal and anyone can join in, but then there’s so much between beginner and professional in honing your skills, so much opportunity to improve and get better and better, but anyone can start,” he said.
Mr Jenyns has a sport coaching and teaching background and has been playing soccer and futsal – which has different rules to regular soccer, and a smaller playing field and team size – his whole life.
“Heaps of people have said they’re coming along and there are lots of people in town like us who have been keen for a while,” he said.
The free under 6-10 sign on and try it is from 3.30pm at Endeavour Christian College, with under 11-16 straight after from 4.30pm.
For more information visit the Reefs Cooktown Football Club on Facebook.