It was a very good year
Norwich Soca Seniors 2022 – a review
2022 was a very good year for the club, the first full year since covid-restrictions finished. It was wonderful to get back to playing walking football, which was reflected in our ever-growing registered membership, reaching 135 players aged 50 to 77.
We are very fortunate to call the FDC home with multiple pitches and superb facilities; well looked after by the very supportive staff. We provided sessions of at least 90 minutes walking football twice weekly attracting an average of over 45 members per session. The first 6 weeks of 2023 has seen this average rise to 53 per session.
We continue to use the Team Picker app, rating our members on ability. This ensures we produce balanced teams (as much as we can) for all sessions.
2022 saw Dick Plowman, our WFA qualified ref, working with 7 players/members who have qualified as club refs,enabling most of our training games to be refereed. This change has been welcomed by the players, hugely improving the playing experience.
As a club we play for fun but also enjoy the competitive thrust entering tournaments around the Country, most recently in the over 60’s & 70’s in Bournemouth with our youth squad returning as winners.
We also enter teams into the WFA Cup, with our over 65’s finishing as R/U in 2021 with our over 70’s retaining their cup in 2022 having also won it the year before.
We have a proud history of our players representing England teams from as far back as 2018 with 9 players having been proud to wear the shirt. Another 3 club members have been selected this month for the over IWFF over 65’s.
Another side to the club is our thriving social life with 4-5 golf days enjoyed during the year and a lunch most months, throughout the year in our Fine City.
During 2022 we promoted 2 large charity tournaments in April and July. These events generated over £5,000 towards the Ukraine appeal and Prostate Cancer. Our home base facilities at the Football Development Centre in Norwich are second to none. This was fully demonstrated last July when we welcomed and accommodated 30 teams to take part in our one-day Prostate Cancer tournament.
At Norwich Soca Seniors we are very fortunate to have a qualified physiotherapist as a committee and playing member. He offers professional advice together with a reduction in cost for treatment to club members.
In 2022, 50 of our club members attended a presentation from our local hospital on the awareness of good heart management. During February 2023 twenty club members attended a basic 2-hour first aid course, including the use of a defibrillator.
The sale of club merchandise continues with brisk business including a subsidy towards the cost of equipment such as training tops and kit bags, complete with club logo and initials, to all our members.
2022 also saw a social-media revamp, with a new website www.norwichsocaseniors.com together with a new club twitter @SocaSeniors and a new Facebook page.
Our profile grew hugely with Anglia News sending camera crews to both our tournaments featuring player interviews and game action in the 6pm news slots, reaching a very large audience.
We were also delighted to welcome reporters from the Eastern Daily Press, one of the biggest regional papers in the Country.
Due to an increasing interest from several local females who wish to experience walking football, we shall be exploring the possibilities of creating a women’s setup as part of NSS in the not-too-distant future.
In early 2023 we were awarded The Walking Football Association “Club of the Year” award along with Blackburn Rovers. As Chairman this was certainly a very proud moment for our club, the committee and all the members.
In addition, the WFA Male Referee of the Year award went to our lead referee Dick Plowman.
The club award reflects the hard work that goes on during our football sessions and also behind the scenes by members of the committee and other proactive club members throughout the year, my thanks to each and every one of you.
Onwards and upwards in 2023.
Norwich Soc Seniors
The players with Paul Carr from the WFA
Our wonderful Sponsors