Elsworth Sports Club

Elsworth Ladies' Team playing football in the late 1960s at Elsworth

Maureen Stevens playing football in the 1960s

The following article by Maureen Stevens (above, about to kick the ball) was published in the January 1997 issue of the Elsworth Chronicle.

Memories of Elsworth Ladies' Football Team and Sporting Days Gone By

The past has gone and cannot be changed, and some people may feel that it is not always wise to reflect about days gone by. Yet all of us at some time reminisce about what has happened in the past. Those of us who have lived in the same area for many years, particularly in rural communities, will have seen many changes taking place around us. Change is inevitable and we have to concede that there are many areas where progress has improved the quality of life for some individuals. Even so, one cannot help sometimes feeling rather sad about the diminishing and often disappearing services and activities that have vanished from our locality, together with much of the community comradeship that had always appeared to exist.
Being a keen sports person myself, activities of a sporting nature have always been of interest to me. I recall the very strong local support that was given to Elsworth Sports Club during the 50's, 60's and 70's and possibly early 80's. The village had football and cricket teams that were a force to be reckoned with, and it was a simple task for the various captains to muster 1st and 2nd teams, which consisted of mainly local people.
During the sixties and seventies, Elsworth also had a very active ladies' football team. Admittedly this started off as a bit of fun during feast week activities (in those days there was a different attraction each day throughout feast week), but as interest grew, and skills improved, it became a regular team which travelled over a fairly wide area to play matches. The original team was made up entirely of Elsworth ladies. I remember very clearly our very first game which was played in pouring rain, the players soaking wet and plastered in mud, but nevertheless, greatly enjoyed by all who took part, providing a great deal of laughter for those who had turned up to watch the event from the sidelines.

To return to the present, sadly we have seen a decline in support and today mustering teams at weekends causes headaches for captains as they seek to muster teams from wherever they can find someone available or willing to play. One wonders what will happen when the people behind the scenes (who do all the leg work) eventually call it a day. Will there be new blood to take on all the tasks? Perhaps, though, the future will see some return of support as we now have a schoolboys' football team and a table tennis club. There are also some stirrings and interest in providing a tennis court or possibly a bowls green, but of course this will depend on how much support local people are willing to give. I would like to feel that that Elsworth is still a caring community and that we might be able to improve the recreational facilities within the village for young and old alike.

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