Thank you to everyone that donated to Katee’s marathon. She completed all 26 miles on the hottest day of the year in under 4 horus! We’re incredibly grateful for the support and managed to raise £1,500 to be shared between all of our clubs. Big laces love x
(Written by Katee Hui, Founder of Hackney Laces)
On April 22nd, I’ll be running 26.2 Miles through the streets of London.
I’m running for a cause incredibly close to my heart, the Laces. Throughout my whole life football has been a vital source of opportunity, inspiration, and friendship. When I set up Hackney Laces six years ago I never imagined that we’d grow into the army of female footballers that we are today, hundreds strong and growing.
We believe that every girl and woman should have a chance to play – from our mini and little laces 7 years old and up; to our teenage lot; to the women and vintage laces – our pitches welcome everyone. But there are still numerous barriers that stand in the way, like: funding, space, respect, confidence, childcare, and cultural issues to name a few. At Laces, we do everything in our power to overcome these. And we do this with the generous support of our volunteers, coaches, communities, and friends.
It takes a lot to run a club. The support we need is often for basic things like pitch hire (£60 per hour); travel costs to get our girls to matches and for things like qualifications and training. We also provide opportunities for the Laces off the pitch like getting their FA level 1 coaching badge (more women coaches is only a good thing!) and youth leadership awards.
Now my training has commenced, I’ve got some new shoes, and all the enthusiasm in the world for what’s to come. And I’d be super grateful for your support for me and the whole Laces family.
On Saturday we were delighted to take part in the inaugural Playing for Kicks tournament, organised by the lovely Boiler Room Ladies FC. All proceeds went to support Women in Sport and the tournament was supported by Fans for Diversity.
U-dox, an agency in East London went in search of women who have entrepreneurial spirits and are changing the status quo. Flip through to page 5 and you’ll find a little interview with our founder Katee. We think the future is female. We hope you do too.
5 years ago on this day, Hackney Laces was born. And over the course of 5 years we’ve come a long way. There will be plenty of celebration to be had later this year, for now we just wanted to mark the day. Thank you to everyone that’s got us here – definitely couldn’t have done it without you!
This year Hackney Laces turns five. Five years of football, friendship and experiences. We’re planning a big celebration in the summer but in the meantime we’re also doing things like half marathons to raise money for the club. Sohko kicked off the season with the Berlin half earlier this month, and I’m going to run Hackney. This will be the first time I’m running for Laces and it’s in our home borough. Home court advantage. Plus the added bonus of lots of Laces and friends scattered around the course.
Two hours of running doesn’t feel like a lot when you compare to five years. 1,826 days (including one leap year!) of building momentum, fighting for more opportunities for young women in football and in life and learning shedloads along the way.
We’ve had 268 girls on our books – in Hackney alone. Between our sister clubs Limehouse Laces, our Langdon Park project and the newly formed South London Laces, we’re set to hit the 400 mark this year. We also have what I’m sure is the highest number of FA qualified women coaches in the UK. There are 19 of us, ranging from Level 1s to UEFA B license.
There’s so many things that we’ve achieved from sending some of our girls to America on soccer scholarships and placing some in apprenticeships to being recognised for playing fairly. I’m so excited to enter the next five years of laces, and I would be very grateful for your support in our journey. You can donate below! Oh, and please come out on the 8th May.
We couldn’t be prouder of Mirjeta one of our laces who has been accepted to Tottenham Hotspurs Ladies Football Academy. Based at Barnet and Southgate college, the curriculum combines secondary school education with an academy style football programme.
Mirjeta joined us two years ago, having not played for a team before. Her passion for the game and her drive to constantly improve continue to inspire not only the coaches but her fellow laces. From scoring the winning goal in Nike’s Winner Stays On Tournament to being the youngest player we’ve ever called up to our women’s team, there’s no doubt football is in her future.
In a few weeks, our Sohko will be running the Berlin Half Marathon. We’ve been helping her prepare at training both physically and mentally. Physically, rounds of Wembley and chasing after Hannah have been helping with her stamina and mentally, the girls have been working out *just* how far 13.1 miles is making comments like ‘whoa’ and ‘really?’ which has been reminding Sohko of the distance ahead.
We’re incredibly grateful to have Sohko as part of the club inspiring the laces both on and off the pitch. And we’re incredibly grateful that she’s chosen to run the Berlin half in support of our club. You can donate below – any amount is greatly appreciated.
Best of luck Sohko and thank you so much for all of the support!
Part of what we do at laces is our off the pitch programme. This ranges from helping our girls with their CVs and college applications to first aid training and field trips. Some of our off the pitch work involves partnering with like minded organisations. Insert Good Beans.
Good Beans is a social enterprise that makes excellent cold brew coffee. Founded by childhood friends Rosa Escoda and Becky Neale, the two lovingly make their coffee in small batches in East London and sell in delis, cafés and markets around the UK.
Last night, two squads from Hackney Laces battled it out in an amazing and intense, underground 4v4 tournament, hosted by Nike at the Steel Yard. The rules were simple. Winner stays on. And you can’t draw or both teams are out.
Laces B (Mirijeita, Katee, Aneequa, Sandra and Macy) made it to the final but were knocked out by a strong side from the Boiler Room Ladies. And Laces A (Shannon, Athalie, Nikel, Stedrika and Charlotte) landed themselves a solid third place finish.
Great strength and some quality skills were shown by all. Big thanks to Nike and our very own Jenny Simmons for inviting us along.