Creating a mini Wembley Stadium in your Garden

Ask any young football fan what their ultimate dream is, and, chances are they will mention scoring the winning goal in a World Cup final with the match held at Wembley Stadium. But although the chance of becoming a modern day Geoff Hurst is pretty slim, that doesn’t mean that all those budding Ronaldo’s and Messi’s should give up on their dreams altogether.

If you can’t get to Wembley, then maybe Wembley should come to you. Any garden has the capacity to become your very own Wembley Stadium, after all it only needs four sides and corners, and garden fences and walls already give the feeling of a stadium. These days, rather than using jumpers for goalposts, you can actually buy a pretty good set of goalposts, and maybe even two. The good news is that the latest range of pop up football goals are easy enough to erect by just one person in double quick time, and, because they are pop up, they are actually easy to move and transport around. Many sets will easily fit into a car boot, so they can be transported to the park, beach or any open play space. They can also be packed away and stored if you decide you want to use your garden space for a different purpose, taking up very little room in your garden shed or storage space. Once you want to use the goal again, the process is simple – no need for assembly or tools.

It is always a good idea to get your kids playing outside, rather than stuck in front of a games console, and pop up goals are a great way to encourage sport and exercise through actually playing football for real; rather than just playing it on Fifa 17. With goals coming in a range of sizes, these will work for children of all age ranges, and gardens of all sizes. The goals are also a great option for mini sports teams and junior football leagues as they are both transportable and affordable – if you practice on a park with no permanent goals, these are a reliable and practical idea.

If you are considering turning your garden into your very own Wembley Stadium, I can definitely recommend the Samba goals. We got a set of these for my son Joe’s last birthday. These are easy to erect yet have thick posts that are sturdy enough for those shots that hit the bar or post (my lad has won the crossbar challenge on more than one occasion and the goal is still standing.) If you are still unsure, Stadia Sports have a great phone or email service where you can put all your questions to an expert in order to ensure you get the right goals for your child, helping them to achieve their own sporting goals in the process.

With the football season just about to begin for thousands of junior football league teams, and now in full flow for the Premier League and EFL, now is the right time to invest in your own set of workable goals.

Fun Activities For Adults This Summer

Last week I looked at some fun, cheap activities for families to take part in and enjoy during Summer 2017. But it is worth acknowledging that not all adults have children, and that doesn’t mean that child free adults don’t want to enjoy their summer too. Today I am focusing on some activities and places that adults can enjoy during the summer that won’t break the bank.

ParkLives Programme in Association with Coca Cola

ParkLives is a free initiative taking place around the UK that aims to get us fitter and more active by staging sporting and exercise activities in our local green spaces. As mentioned, the activities are free, and include such diverse sessions as Tai Chi, Walking football, Pilates and Beginners Yoga. The sessions have already begun, and will be taking place all through the Summer at selected parks, including a whole range of Birmingham Parks. You can find more information at the ParkLives website.

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Enjoy a Game of Bingo

On my recent holiday there was a daily game of bingo at the hotel, and I was amazed to find how popular this traditional pastime still is. These days, you can of course play from the comfort of your own home, with many sites offering an initial free play. Bingo Kings is a reviewing website which gives you all the information about current bingo sites, including any free plays, minumum deposits and withdrawals, types of games, number of balls etc, so if you are planning on having a little flutter, it may be worth checking out the lowdown on Bingo Kings first.


A trip to the seaside

A trip to the seaside can be very expensive, but it really doesn’t have to be. A walk on the beach is free. Sitting on the sand, collecting unusual stones and shells is also free. Enjoying fish and chips with loads of salt and vinegar, still wrapped in chip paper will cost less than £10 and will be better than the best gourmet meal you will ever eat in a restaurant. Set your seaside budget and stick to it, and you will have the most amazing day. After all, all you really need is the sunshine.

Free Museums, Free Galleries – they are out there.

Many museums and art galleries are free to enter, and should definitely be a port of call this Summer. The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has a stunning range of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, whilst the beautiful Wolverhampton Art Gallery has a great collection of Pop Art. Oak House in West Bromwich is a fine example of a 16th Century timber framed house that is a fabulous museum too. All of these amazing attractions are free to enter and enjoy.

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Is there such a thing as ‘Luck’?

Is there such a thing as luck? Is luck something we can change, or influence, and are some people just born lucky? This was something I was pondering a while back when I was lucky enough (that word again) to win a couple of Twitter competitions, one of which I’d actually forgotten entering. When I told my mom I’d won, she used the saying ‘you lucky thing’, and I’d mentioned that ‘my luck was changing’. It seems that the word just pops up everywhere. But can we actually do anything to influence our luck?

I always salute magpies. hating it if I only see one. I pick up lucky pennies, worry if I break a mirror, and avoid walking under ladders. I guess superstitions add to our theories about luck. Yesterday I saw just one magpie on the way to school and remembered the saying ‘one for sorrow’, and indeed, I missed a delivery of a birthday present for Joe, felt a little ill most of the day, and then went out for possibly the worst Christmas meal of all time. A run of bad luck for sure.

But when it comes to playing games like Bingo, or slot machines, or playing the national lottery, or even tv games like Take your Pick, is there really anything you can do to change, or influence how lucky you will be? Paddy Power have put together a fun infographic that busts some of the myths about luck, whilst giving a few hints and tips on things that might help to change your own luck.  You can click here if you want to test any of their theories.

Good luck!