Mini Cubs, Footy Cubs and Footy Tigers



If you’re a new participant, before you book please email us to check availability of places.

For prices or to book a session click here… 

For birthday parties click here… 

For holiday clubs click here… 

Foundation activities for a child’s first discovery and joy of the game.

“Thanks for the taster session last week I thought the lesson was really good and I liked the coaches that ran it, they were brilliant with the children. Wishing you all the best, we think you’re running an amazing club that has a brilliant reputation in the town.”
Amy – Footy Cub Mum

For further details on our Mini Cubs, Cubs and Tigers sessions see below. For schedule information and bookings see our online shop.

Click here to find out where Tommy’s been recently!

About our Foundation sessions   We pride ourselves in providing the best value and best quality young childrens’ team sports sessions. Our specialised, highly trained and experienced coaches ensure that our children transition into club team football with our partner Sporting 87 FC, with the best understanding, skillset and confidence possible. Our parallel development pathways also provide access to advanced level sessions with our Academy. You’ll find that these qualities, attributes and resources make us unique in our field.

The Foundation’s objectives   Primarily our fun play and practices support the development of children’s fundamental movement skills, termed A B C ‘s (see explanatory video), at the same time as motivating, enthusing and developing a life-long love of football. Our programme’s social, cooperative and collaborative nature is also an important factor as to why our footy sessions have so much positive benefit beyond it simply being physically rewarding.

tiger-face-paint-2-square  wwf-iprotecttigers

Our aims for every child   Our three programme stages: Mini Cubs, Cubs and Tigers are appropriately designed to cover the first three important stages of a child’s physical, emotional and cognitive growth. Not every child is the same so the ages we give for each stage are a guide only. Prior experience is the major influencing factor to your child’s reaction to his/her first session. This can simply be having played with family in the garden, especially older siblings, or involvement in playground footy with friends at school; whatever your child’s football experience we can provide them with the most appropriate entry point to more formal and structured learning.

  • Mini Cubs for ages 2 to 3½
    “Footy Discoverers” football themed soft play area. Parent assisted introduction to FUNdamentals.
  • Cubs for ages 3½ to 5 (up to early years and reception)
    “Footy Explorers” independent FUNdamentals based play and practice.
  • Tigers for ages 5 to 7 (school years 1 and 2)
    “Footy Adventurers” play, practice and optional regular mini-matches on Saturdays.
  • Tigers for Girls Only for ages 5 to 11 (school years 1 to 6)
    “Footy Adventurers” play, practice and optional regular mixed girls and boys mini-matches on Saturdays.

When first placing a child we focus our attention on appropriateness; the ability to cope will contribute so much to a child’s enjoyment and fulfillment. For example it is not uncommon for a Tiger-age child that is totally new to football to be placed in an accomplished Cubs group to start.

Making it right for your child   Throughout your child’s time with us, up until graduation to U8 club football proper, your child’s coach will advise you when he/she is ready for transition through each stage. To ensure very late starters can cope with graduation either specific home practise, 1-on-1 sessions or additional group sessions may be advised.

Matches and team football   Typically children can start to grasp the concepts of team-play and match rules at Tiger age. It is then when our Footy Tigers can play in friendly mini-matches (half mini soccer format) on Saturday mornings throughout the football season. Participation in these games against other football clubs is optional, and must be in addition to a midweek training session.

Supporting players and parents through graduation to club football   In their last months as Footy Tigers (the summer months of their school year 2) the children are arranged in fixed teams in preparation for graduating to Sporting 87 Football Club as U8s. During this period volunteer parents/carers that wish to be involved with helping the teams are supported by our professional coaches in attaining the knowledge, experience and qualifications to become confident and competent team coaches and helpers.

Mini Cubs

Wednesdays 5pm, 45 mins:
Indoors at the Skyliner sports hall.
Runs all through the year, only resting for a Christmas break.

We are also working in several good children’s day nurseries:
Contact us to find a nursery with a place near you.



Early evenings:
Wednesdays 5pm, 45 mins:
Indoors at the Skyliner Sports Centre.
Runs all through the year, only resting for a Christmas break.

cubs team talk reasample


Mondays 5pm, 1 hr:
Indoors at the Victory Sports Ground.
Runs all through the year, but rests during school holidays and on bank holidays.
Wednesdays 6pm, 1 hr:
Indoors at the Skyliner Sports Centre.
Runs all through the year, only resting for a Christmas break.

– Optional* Saturday morning mini-matches/team-training, 1hr** 
Outdoors at the Victory Sports Ground or ‘away’ match venue.
Mini-matches run September to April inclusive, with training through summer.
School Year 2 Footy Tigers only.
Activities are aimed at establishing set teams to transfer into
Sporting 87 FC at school year 3 (under 8) each September.
* You must attend a midweek Tigers session and be intending
to join Sporting 87 FC U8s to be eligible for Saturday activities.
** Times vary depending on host Club.

Tigers for Girls-only

Early evenings:
Fridays 4.15pm, 45 mins:
Outdoors at the Skyliner Sports Centre.
Runs all through the year, but rests during school holidays and the preceeding Fridays, i.e. the day schools break-up.

Sessions are based alongside the Girls 5-a-side League. Transition to a Sporting 87 FC girls 5-a-side team when appropriate is managed as part of each child’s development.

See our female football policy.

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If you’re a new participant, before you book please email us to check availability of places.

For prices or to book a session click here… 

Q & A

You may find it useful to the know the answers of these common questions.

Q1  Would my child be okay to attend the sessions; she will be nearly old enough but not the age you stipulate?
A1  We do state specific ages, but this is only a guide because all children are different. Normally it’s fine if a child is a few months below our stated age – the child can be emotionally, socially and physically developed enough to be with us, but sometimes it’s not appropriate. Our coach ratios are key to this and you should chat to our Foundation coaches about whether your child could cope with the level of attention we prescripe in each session. Please contact us before you book.

Our tiger mascots and the WWF Tiger Protectors scheme

The Footy Cubs and Tigers children’s mascot is called “Tommy”. Occasionally you’ll see Tommy the tiger at our footy sessions and other events, such as holiday clubs and tournaments. Also at all our footy sessions our large cuddly tiger toy mascots “Timmy” and “Tilly” are there to encourage and support the children in their efforts. At the end of each session players that are awarded “Cub/Tiger of the Week” get to take the ‘younger’ (smaller) tiger “Tommy” home with them. Click here to find out where Tommy’s been recently!  🙂

It’s all great fun and the tigers are great motivators for the children. We also like to teach the children a little about the struggle of real tigers in the wild. There’s estimated to be just 3,900 tigers left in world and there are urgent problems that need tackling; such as poaching, illegal trade in body parts and tiger farms. We hope to instill a little community responsibility by linking our use of the toy tigers at football to the plight of their real ‘cousins’ in Asia. If you’d like to find out more, then visit the WWF Tigers website, or you can click on the picture below to find out how you can become a WWF ‘Tiger Protector’.


Content © Sporting 87 Educational Trust 2023