Welcome to my latest blog
One of my favourite days every year is the 27th December. I don’t consciously think about it too much during the year but every now and then something will happen or someone will say something that makes me think about it and I’ll always smile when I do.
And that thing is Crogfest which is an annual, friendly game of football played on the local green in the little village where I grew up. 20 or so of us get together every year and split into two teams – those with beards and those without – and we play a 90 minute game of football.
I love Crogfest. The name makes it sound far more dangerous than it actually is! Injuries are usually pulled muscles from those of us who are perhaps past our prime who haven’t warmed up properly or are trying to chase someone who is much faster and fitter.
But Crogfest is more than just a football match. As well as being highly amusing (there is plenty of banter) and loads of fun, it’s a great social occasion. We’ve been doing it that long, it now involved different generations from the same village coming together. The ‘beards’ tend to be the older ones and the ‘non-beards’ are generally the younger and, dare I say fitter ones?! The way a game like football can transcend age is wonderful.
One game of football a year helps to maintain contact and friendships with people you grew up with. It’s ace to see how the younger lads are progressing and it’s so nice to catch up with people who live miles away and if it weren’t for Crogfest, those contacts and friendships would possibly be lost.
For the first time in a while, the beards won this Christmas…not helped by own goal from yours truly…but as always, at the final whistle, everyone shook hands and we all know we’ll be back on the village green at the same time and date next year.
Sport is pretty unique at bringing people together like that. The more that kids can get involved in sports locally, the more friendships are built, the more laughs are had and the greater the connection back to your local community.
My hope (and aim) is that the Quack and Field books will help inspire kids to get involved in sport and maybe one day, they’ll have a Crogfest of their own.
Up the beards!