New Mars Just Play session comes to Reading

On Monday 14th August a new Mars Just Play session was introduced at Rivermead Leisure Centre in Reading, encouraging more individuals from the LGBT community to take part in football.

FA Mars Just Play sessions are designed for all adults, regardless of experience, ability or fitness. Therefore it will help the novice, part-timer or lapsed player to gain experience, rediscover their touch, develop fitness and enjoy playing in a non-competitive environment. The sessions are designed to be fun and informal, with individuals able to turn up and play at times that suit them.

The new session in Reading, labelled as an LGBT friendly session, has been established to engage more players from LGBT communities into regular football activity, whilst still being available to all adults to participate in. It is estimated that more that approximately one million people identify themselves as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual, however as it has been well documented there is not one ‘openly’ gay footballer participating in the top four leagues of men’s English Football.

Day: Monday

Time: 19:30 – 20:30

Venue: Rivermead Leisure Centre, Richfield Ave, Reading RG1 8EQ

Fee: £3.50

Jon Wood Berks & Bucks FA Innovation Manager reported; “The first session has seen a good number of participants coming along, with more expected in the upcoming weeks. At the Berks & Bucks FA we want to ensure that individuals from all communities and backgrounds have the opportunity to take part in football in a safe environment. In some instances this does require us to target market and design specific sessions and projects for those groups that are under-represented within football.  The LGBT community has been identified as one of these groups, and we hope sessions such as these will continue to engage and re-engage new participants.”

The session is delivered by an FA qualified Just Play organiser and all participants are invited back to the Blagrave Arms to help with the social feel of the session. For more information please visit the dedicated Just Play Thames Valley Facebook page.

If you have any specific queries relating to the inclusion work completed by the Berks and Bucks FA, please email