Sunday, 31 May 2015

McDonald's Football Mum of the Year Awards!

A few weeks ago we were invited to a football training session to launch the McDonald's Football Mum of the Year Awards. The kids were so excited but unfortunately Noah came down with Scarlet Fever and that was that we couldn't go! It was a real shame as Noah has recently started showing an interest in football (Isla likes a kick about too, but her focus is on gymnastics lately) and we've bought him a kit and he's been to a few training classes. I was disappointed as I really wanted to go and take away some training exercises to do in the garden and who could be a better teacher than Casey Stoney, England and Arsenal Ladies player.

The McDonald’s Football Mum of the Year Award will recognise mums who put in countless unpaid hours of hard work, so that their children and their friends can enjoy playing football. Coleen Rooney, mum to two football-mad sons and wife of one of England’s most prolific strikers, is calling for people across the UK to nominate a deserving ‘football mum’ in their lives who goes beyond the call of duty so that children can experience the joy of playing football, week-in week-out. 

I'm already beginning to experience 'child taxi syndrome' on a Saturday, when I take Noah to football training, then Isla on to gymnastics. They're only 3 and 5 years old at the moment, so I know that as they get older all their activities will take up a lot of man hours and energy, so the idea that parents can have their efforts recognised is really appealing! 

From time consuming tasks such as running kids to training and matches that can be hours away and managing their team kits, to helping run their child’s local team, or even starting a local team simply so their children and their friends can play; the awards are an opportunity to acknowledge their selflessness.

McDonald’s Football Mum of the Year ambassador, Coleen Rooney, said: “I’m so excited about this award. I live in a football-mad house and know how much goes into just getting the kids to training and making the time to watch them play every week, so I can only imagine the amazing nominations we’re going to receive for this. Dads tend to get the credit a lot of the time for coaching teams or teaching their kids how to play, so this award will give people a chance to shout about the hard work mums do on and off the pitch.”

England and Arsenal Ladies player and mum-of-twins, Casey Stoney, is also supporting the awards and will sit on the judging panel alongside representatives from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

McDonald’s Head of Women and Girls Football, Casey Stoney, said: “I started my career at the grassroots of football, and as a new mum I can already see how important this award is from both sides of the fence. There are so many mums who help to run their child’s club or volunteer at the clubhouse to help raise funds so the kids can play. It’s so important to recognise them when you consider that they’re also often juggling childcare and work on top. I cannot wait to have a kick about with the twins in a few years!”

Coleen Rooney will present the Football Mum of the Year Award to the winner at a special ceremony at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, 2nd August.

Nominations for the McDonald’s Football Mum of the Year Award are now open and will close on 19th June 2015. To nominate a mum you know go to: 

McDonalds Football Mum of the Year Awards

To follow on twitter: @BetterPlayUK

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure - Review

Noah is a big Octonauts fan and it’s actually something that took me by surprise because with Isla being the older sister she really does dominate what channels are watched in our house and I thought we’d lost CBeebies forever! But somehow he managed to reclaim the channel and he is now permitted by her ladyship to watch Peter Rabbit and The Octonauts. He loves it, sings the theme tune and has already asked for an Octonauts birthday cake (birthday in 2 months time). When I told him that we were going to see the live show, he was so excited and actually Isla loves the theatre and the fact that it wasn’t one of her choice didn’t matter.

We went to see Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure at the New Wimbledon Theatre, which is fairly close to us, we’ve been there a few times, seeing Dora and Ben and Holly there previously. We took our seats, gave out the obligatory sweets and waited for the show to start and when it did it was clear that Noah was going to love it, having human sized versions of his favourite characters right in front him gave him such a thrill. He knows all the characters which was useful for me because there were some that I hadn’t noticed before in the TV show.

In Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure the entire crew of the Octonauts, led by intrepid explorer Captain Barnacles, Lieutenant Kwazii and Medic Peso, embark on an exciting new underwater quest and visit amazing underwater worlds full of adventure, with surprises around every corner. I won't go into anymore detail as I wouldn't want to spoil it but it has a real sense of drama in line with the age group it caters for.

Things we loved about it were all the audience participation – from being told to help steer the Octopod to being encouraged to call out to Captain Barnacle, it was great and it really helped to make the kids feel that they were part of the whole adventure. There were also some really lovely songs throughout (from BAFTA-award winning composer Mani Svavarsson no less!), songs aren’t usually a feature of the TV show but they were great and catchy too. I personally loved the bit when the stage was blacked out the UV underwater creatures came out – this was also something that happened in Peppa Pig's Treasure Hunt and it was really effective in that show too.

All in all it had a good plot and was easy for the kids to follow. Both of them loved it, Noah in particular felt like this was a big treat for him and seemed to believe that these were the real Octonauts. The show is around 90 minutes in length and there is a short interval in the middle, which allows for the inevitable kids need for the toilet!

If you would like to see Octonauts Live, go to and check out  and see if they are near you.

We were given tickets free of charge to see the show. All opinions are our own.