Last month, girls from across the county took part in Worcestershire FA’s annual girls football festivals. Based at Evesham United and Stourport Swifts, the two-day event allowed primary school girls to experience football in a different way.
The two festivals involved playing non-competitive matches and a number of different activities, including a target shoot, face-painting, kit designing, skills sessions, and more! The festivals aim to help girls who have little to no current experience to engage in football and hopefully inspire them to start playing regularly.
With over forty teams from nearly thirty different schools attending the festivals, the Worcestershire FA hopes that many of the them will join their local team or SSE Wildcats Centre.
SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Centres provide Worcestershire girls aged 5-11 with regular opportunities to play football with sixteen centres across the county. The initiative offers organised sessions in a fun and engaging environment created exclusively for girls.
SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football sessions take place on a weekly basis, either after school or at weekends, and provide a safe environment where girls can try football for the first time. SSE and The FA hopes the nationwide initiative will inspire participants to engage with football, meet new friends, develop fundamental skills, learn new things and create the foundation for a lifelong love of football. The initiative is in line with The FA’s Gameplan for Growth, with the target of doubling girls’ participation in the sport by 2020.
Kerys Harrop, Birmingham City Ladies FC Captain attended the festivals where the girls had the opportunity to meet her and ask her questions about her footballing career throughout the day.
She said: I’m really lucky to be able to call my hobby my job. When I was younger it was difficult to find a local girls team. Birmingham [City FC] was probably the closest and I’ve been there ever since. There were no programmes, especially on a school level where you could play with purely girls teams. In primary school, I was the only girl playing – so I had to play with the boys. It’s fantastic to see this many girls here today. It’s really, really promising.”
Laura McGinn, Worcestershire FA’s Football Development Officer and organiser of the festivals said: “It was great to see so many girls getting involved and having fun playing football. A lot of the girls hadn’t played football before so hopefully today has shown them that football isn’t just for the boys and has inspired them to keep playing and join their local SSE Wildcats Centre or local club.”
For more information on local SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Centres visit: www.worcestershirefa.com
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