Get Involved

Fiona Gardner back in football after discovering social Futsal sessions in Kettering

Tuesday 06 Feb 2018
Fiona Gardner found Futsal sessions in Kettering with the FA Mars Just Play scheme

I first got into these sessions through my son, James, as he started coming here first.

I used to play football, at 11-a-side, and I just thought that I’d really like to give that a go again.

Fiona Gardner
  • Age: 51
  • Lives: Northampton
  • Occupation: Gardener
  • Plays: Futsal

I’d had a gap from football but when I saw the women play as well and found out about these sessions at the beginning of last year, Stuart [Smith] from the Northamptonshire CFA said: ‘Yes, come along, it’s for everybody’.

James has now gone off to America now to study but I’ve just carried on. I hadn’t played Futsal before I started coming to Kettering and I didn’t know so much about it, I have to say.

It was through James playing that I found out about it and with it being five-a-side and everything I think it’s a great game - it’s better than 11-a-side, really!

You get more touches of the ball and it encourages really good team play and it’s helped me to keep up my fitness levels.

I’ve always enjoyed sport ever since I was a youngster and I just wish that there were more sports opportunities when I was at school because I would have probably done more.

I’ve always enjoyed football - it is a wonderful game, it’s not complicated and it’s great to be back playing some form of it again.

Fiona in Futsal action at the Mars Just Play sessions in Kettering

When James moved abroad, I did question very slightly whether I should keep coming to these sessions because I was used to coming here with him.

But it’s such a lovely bunch of people here that I’ve also become used to that, so that’s what kept me coming and I feel like I’ve really improved during these sessions.

I quickly became hooked once I started coming - basically it was after just one session where I thought I need to keep doing this, this is really fun.

Before I started, I’d wanted to get back into football for a little while and once I realised that I could do this, I gave it a go and I’ve loved it. I hope Futsal is something that keeps spreading across England. It is getting bigger, I think, and Kettering does seem to be a good area for it.

It’s perhaps not that well known in some places and sometimes I have to explain what it is, but I definitely recommend that people give it a try.


The Futsal sessions at Arena Sport in Kettering take place every Monday and Thursday for anyone aged 16+ and are part of the FA’s wider Mars Just Play initiative, which provides a location and kit for people who just want to turn up and have a game of football without committing long-term. 

If you like the sound of Futsal, find out more in our Futsal section of the website here.

By FA Staff