Norfolk town set to get new ladies football team

Coach of the new Harleston Ladies Football CLub Lewis Blackburn with player Natasha Niemtus at With

Coach of the new Harleston Ladies Football CLub Lewis Blackburn with player Natasha Niemtus at Withersdale Village Hall. - Credit: Archant

A new ladies football team is set to kick off in a south Norfolk town at the start of May giving young girls the chance to keep fit.

Fitness coach Lewis Blackburn, who runs Blackburns Sport and Fitness in Harleston, has set up the Harleston ladies team, which is set to start training at Withersdale playing field behind the village hall on May 7.

Mr Blackburn has started the club from scratch, believing there was a gap in the market for a women's football team in the town.

He said women's teams were already running in nearby towns and villages such as Bungay and Scole and he had received messages asking if a similar team was going to be set up in Harleston.

He added: 'I am involved with the schools in teaching different sports and I noticed there was a gap for a women's team and there was a lot of interest so I thought, 'why not? It would be brilliant.''

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As yet, the team does not have a league, though Mr Blackburn was hoping to affiliate it to the Norfolk FA within the next month.

He said there were options available depending on how many people came forward to play for the team and he was considering arranging friendly matches against other local teams, such as Scole and Bungay.

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As well as running his sport and fitness business, which aims to improve people's health and self confidence, Mr Blackburn is also sports manager for youth charity Exchange 2, where he runs sports clubs for 11-16 year olds and annual summer sports events as well as offering one-to-one and group personal training.

He has also hired celebrity personal trainer Richard Callender, from ITV's The Biggest Loser and This Morning, to run a three hour masterclass event, starting on July 21.

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