This article first appeared in Luton News on 26th July 2023
The summer holidays are always a welcome break from the weekly routine, but with costs of food, energy and childcare reaching new heights, families in Luton are wondering how they’ll get through it. Holidays abroad – already a luxury – will be a daydream, and weeks at home the reality.
But a summer at home doesn’t need to have to mean a summer indoors. This is the time for young Lutonians to give sport a try. Not only does it give children an outlet for their energy, sport helps develop social skills, motivation, contributes to a healthy body and cultivates those essential happy hormones that kids need just as much as grown-ups.
Women’s sport is finally starting to get the following it deserves – from Lionesses becoming European Champions and ready to challenge for the World Cup, to Emma Raducanu seizing a grand slam two years ago, to England’s women’s cricket team giving a world-class performance in this year’s Ashes.
But for girls and young women in particular, many obstacles remain that prevent them from being active. The Women’s Sport Federation found that even for girls that identify as sporty in primary school, over a million of them abandon it in their teenage years.
I know first-hand the benefits sport can bring to girls. When I was in primary school, I was painfully shy. I couldn’t look up at the people around me and spoke as little as possible. It wasn’t until I started playing cricket that I found my confidence and my voice – and I haven’t lost it since!
That’s why I am especially proud to have the Luton Women & Girls Cricket Club in my constituency. They bring the joy of the game to girls and women who need a bit of encouragement and a safe space to try. If cricket isn’t the right fit, try one of the many Energise Luton Summer Camps running across the summer (with a free meal available for all attendees).
Maybe your daughter feels inspired by our recent local success and fancies being a future player in Luton Town Ladies FC? Luton Town are offering summer camps across Bedfordshire for a small cost – or you can just grab a ball and head to your nearest park.
If you want more information on any of these projects, or just need some advice on how to deal with any struggles during the summer, please don’t hesitate to contact me on email@example.com.