Football has been the most popular sport in the Netherlands for many years. Unfortunately not everyone has always been able to enjoy it. Often football culture displays a lot of homophobia, transphobia, racism and ableism. Queer people frequently refrain from joining a football team because they have to deal with bullying, exclusion or a queerphobic environment in general. But that doesn’t mean they don’t like playing football!
This is where the WERQ x Queer Football Collective comes in! Since November 2023, we’ve been organizing weekly indoor football sessions for queer people of all skill levels. The aim of these sessions is to create an environment where everyone can experience the joythat football can bring and where they feel safe, seen and heard. The main goal is to have fun playing and meet new people, and maybe learn some new skills along the way!
For now, the sessions are held every Thursday from 19:00 till 20:30 at an indoor football court in Oost. It is a comfortable, heated space with no other people around in the gym while we play. There are two changing rooms available where you can put your nicest football jersey on and get ready for practice.
We always start the training with a warming up followed by some technique training. This can be a passing or a dribbling exercise to help develop and improve ball handling. You can do these exercises at your own pace and level. If this is the first time you’re touching a football: we are there to help you! After the technique training we always finish with a fun little 4 versus 4 match. Here we also make sure everyone is actively included in the game regardless of experience.
Another way we incorporate inclusion is by our collaboration with KLABU. KLABU is an amazing organization that uses football as a way to create new opportunities for refugees. They do this by building football fields and clubhouses around the world that are hubs for play, wellbeing, education and entrepreneurship. Each session there are 4 spots for queer refugees to join our sessions for free. Football is an amazing way to connect with the people around you. We hope to take away barriers so that more and more people can reap the benefits of the sport!
Are you interested in joining one of our sessions? Sign up through WeTicket and we hope to play some ball with you soon!