Principles of LLKA

A message from LLKA's founder Andi:

LLKA was set up in the summer of 1999 for lesbian and bisexual women, with 2 main goals of providing a regular ongoing series of kickabout football games that should be:
  • Inclusive and non-cliquey
  • Dependable
A bit more on each of these is outlined below.

Inclusive and non-cliquey

As long as they respect the 4 basic rules of the game, anyone who comes along plays IN THE SAME GAME as everyone else. It doesn’t matter who they know or how well they can play.

Occasionally LLKA will field teams in tournaments or competitive games against other teams where this is not practical or possible but in terms of it’s ordinary Tuesday and Sunday kickabouts, this is the basic rule.

No one should have to wait on the sidelines, everyone should get to play, every player is entitled to the same respect and consideration as any other player, however long or however irregularly they attend.

Over the years, the odd player has moaned that the overall standard of play is too high for them. Other people have moaned that the standard of play has been too low for them. People have moaned about there being too many people on the pitch, very occasionally, people have moaned that there have been too few. The point is you get what you get with LLKA. On any given day it’s a random lottery. Accept it for what it is or move on to a different type of event.

Dependability

If an LLKA event is advertised or held out as going ahead, then players should be able to depend on it happening. They should be able to turn up at the advertised time, at the advertised place and not be hanging around waiting, unsure as to whether anyone else is coming or not. They s hould be able to plan their time in advance, knowing that if they put a certain date down in their diaries to play at an LLKA event, they will not be let down at the last moment.

It’s important to remember that not everyone is socially robust. Many players come to LLKA when they are first coming out or are new to London and feel socially a little awkward. It may be difficult for them to come along to an event on their own in the first place. If they do get up the courage to do that, they should not be left hanging around on their own wondering what is happening and whether anyone else is coming. That is why I have always been particularly conscious of time-keeping and certainty in the planning of LLKA events. It is not about being “anal” or controlling. (I’m generally late when it comes to the rest of my life). But this is about putting yourself in the shoes of a new player who doesn’t know what to expect and might not be as confident and robust as someone who has been coming for years.

This dependability and “doing what we said on the tin” has been an important factor in building up LLKA’s reputation and attendance levels over the years. Players would get out of bed on an overcast Sunday and make their way across London because they came to trust that they wouldn’t be let down and that the games would go ahead. Any one can organise a kickabout in the park but kickabouts start up and fail every other month in London because the numbers of players tend to be inconsistent and patchy. In the end, they disintegrate because no-one is ever sure whether there will be enough to get a game going so they end up staying in bed or having a BBQ rather than making the effort. We don’t suffer from that.

By being dependable, LLKA has managed to run consistently for 10 years without a break! It attracts so many players in part because of it’s reputation for reliability. That is why, when some one from LLKA wants to organise a drinks night or tournament entry, or additional LLKA game, or anything involving the reputation of LLKA, I expect one person to take full responsibility for that event and for them to make sure that:
  • Everyone is given the option of taking part in line with the inclusivity policy
  • That all participants are kept informed about what is happening
  • That it actually happens when and where it was supposed to happen and people, especially new players, are not left hanging around like "Billy No Mates" wondering whats happening.
I’ve taken the time to spell out these founding principles not because anyone has fallen foul of them but because it’s important for new people coming in to LLKA to understand that they exist and why they exist.

LLKA’s excellent reputation for inclusivity and dependability has taken 10 years to build. We all benefit from keeping it intact and building on it, year in and year out.