“I forget I am 58″—how lesbian footballers discovered community.

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By Creative Media News

Football is a fantastic way to bring people together, reconnect with old friends, and have fun. This may not be fresh information, but it is what MissKix experiences throughout their weekly training sessions. The majority of the Brighton-based crew are lesbians in their forties, fifties, and sixties who are now realizing their dream of joining a club.

Andy Cook, one of the original members, explains, “We didn’t have this opportunity when we were younger, so we’re quite glad to seizing it now.” She attended her first MissKix class in 2016 and continues to display her talents with the organization six years later. Even though some members have gone and others have joined, Cook feels that the bond between her present and previous colleagues transcends football.

"i forget i am 58"—how lesbian footballers discovered community.
"i forget i am 58"—how lesbian footballers discovered community.

“The stories of persecution and adversity encountered by people during their upbringing unite us,” she says. “There is also the effort to achieve a positive sense of identity, a sense of belonging, and to live according to our desires. To feel good about ourselves without internalizing homophobia and stigma.”

Clare Brunet, one of the founding members, initiated the group by contacting acquaintances from the LGBTQ+ community and recruiting 16 ladies to play soccer in an unlit park behind someone’s house. They now rent a training ground, have a coach to improve their performance and are associated with the local Southern Combination Premier Division club AFC Vardeanians.

Everyone seems to agree that becoming a member of MissKix is like being part of a family. The players discuss what is going on in their lives with their teammates; as a result, they can feel joy and enjoy the accomplishments of their companions and loved ones, as well as provide support during difficult moments. The eldest member of MissKix, Jac Langham, 63, has cancer and resides in a hospice. Even though she is not on the field, she is still a member of the squad.

“What the team has done for us is establish a very deep bond,” adds Cook. “It’s been much more than just playing football. Being part of a team offers us a sense of family and belonging.

A pint after exercise and a game is a terrific opportunity to catch up. “Although some of us had extremely tight-knit groups of friends, the football squad are the individuals we see every week,” she continues. It has evolved into something significantly more important in terms of a sense of belonging and a support network.

On the field, though, things can become rather competitive, and care must be taken to avoid injury. Cook chuckles as he says, “I believe that we occasionally overestimate our capabilities.” “When playing, you tend to get very absorbed and go all out. I forget that I’m 58, and when I fall, it aches.”

This is why the team has decided to solely participate in veteran events in the future. “In the past, we’ve faced younger teams, and it’s evident that they’re lot fitter and stronger than us,” Cook adds. “My girlfriend fractured her leg in a tackle attempt during a tournament.” Therefore, we now attempt to face teams that are comparable to us in terms of age and skill.”

The members of MissKix agreed to write Jumpers for Goalposts: The Making of the MissKix Women’s Football Team to demonstrate how the sport altered their lives. Tina Johnson, Cook’s lover, was expelled from the army due to her sexual orientation. Even though she missed out on sporting chances in the military, MissKix provided her with a second shot.

Cook says, “I am aware that people are often startled by our ages, but I hope we serve as an example for younger people.” “It is crucial to be active for as long as possible, and I believe that the more you do, the fitter and better you feel.”

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