Belper Town Ladies footballers score valuable support from local science company
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A Derbyshire first division ladies’ football club has scored valuable support from a neighbouring science company to help kickstart their season – now they’d love to see lots of support on the pitch too.
Belper Town Ladies Football Club has been going for more than 15 years and has been sponsored by local science company Lubrizol, whose UK technical centre is based a few miles down the road at Hazelwood.
From its beginnings as a group of women footballers meeting to train, the club has gone from strength to strength. It now boasts 55 players ranging in age from under-16s to women in their 40s, and has a first team playing in Derbyshire Ladies League Division 1, as well as a development squad.
This season Lubrizol has sponsored the club’s first and reserve teams with brand new kit, as well as sponsoring a match. The company has an advertising board at Belper Town Football Club too.
Ladies club chair Emma Varnam, who started playing for the club 15 years ago, said: “Lubrizol responded to one of our social posts asking for sponsors a few years ago. Both teams now are playing in exactly the same kit. It’s massive for us. People are struggling at the moment with money worries and we’re trying to make sure that football is always affordable.”
Rachel Ollier, who works at Lubrizol’s technology department, was one of the founder members of Belper Town Ladies back in 2008.
She said: “At my local leisure centre they were doing football training for ladies, as some alternative fitness. From that, there was a group of us who decided to start up a ladies football team.”
Rachel was part of the team for a few years before she had to withdraw through injury, but could not be more pleased that the club is doing so well with a strong performance in the past few seasons earning them a division one spot.
She said: “They’re winning a lot more games these days. There were times when we used to struggle to get 11 players for a team. To see it carried on and still successful is really nice.
“I used to really enjoy it. it was something really different to do. I’d never played football since I was at primary school. It was something nice to get back into. I’m still friends with some of the girls I played with. The social side of it is very nice. You had team nights out and a meal for Christmas as well.”
Now Emma would love to see more people come and support Belper Town Ladies in their 2023/24 campaign.
“Come down and watch us!” she said. “It’s a decent standard of football on a Sunday afternoon.”
Claire Hollingshurst, from Lubrizol’s charities and communities committee, said: “It’s with great pleasure that we are able to sponsor our local ladies football club in Belper. Encouraging physical activity and social exercise is very important to us at Lubrizol and this is a great club that is going from strength to strength. We’re very proud to support them.”