Birmingham Blaze FC

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Birmingham Blaze FC is a gay-friendly football team based in Birmingham.

It was founded on 28th July 2005, when seven friends got together for a training session under the shadow of the National Indoor Area. It now plays both national and international 11-a-side football as well as a number of small-sided tournaments.

The club is built on respect: it doesn't align specifically to any single diverse group, and its membership reflects this. It promotes equality and inclusion as core values, and success is measured in terms of the club's social, developmental and supportive environment for members, which are considered of equal importance to winning games.

There are twice-weekly kickabouts in Birmingham, every Sunday and Wednesday. Everyone is welcome, male and female, from seasoned veterans to those who have never kicked a ball in their lives, to keep fit, to make new friends or to enjoy an alternative from the bars and clubs on the LGBT scene. A strength of the club is members' ability to enjoy their favourite sport in a hassle-free environment.

Sunday sessions are always on a grass surface at Cathorpe Park, just off the Pershore Road in Balsall Heath, with 45 minutes of training, followed by a kickabout for an hour or so for everyone. Wednesday sessions follow the same format and location as Sundays during the late spring, summer and early autumn, but for the rest of the year are for two hours and tend to be 5 or 6-a-side round-robin games on astroturf at Star City Goals.

Despite the club's name, members are drawn from across the West Midlands and beyond. There are opportunities for progression to positions of responsibility within the committee or football management team. Blaze members can progress through coaching and referee qualifications, the cost of which is sponsored by the club.

The 11-a-side team plays in the GFSN National League, GFSN Cup and friendly matches against teams from all over the country. Home 11-a-side matches are played at Moor Lane in Perry Barr.

Many small-sided tournaments (5,6,7-a-side) take place throughout the year and the club tries to send a team to as many as possible. There is also the odd 11-a-side tournament, plus trips to international tournaments, such as the 2010 Cologne Gay Games where Blaze returned as the best British team in their league.

External sites

http://www.birmingham-blaze.co.uk