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Women And Girls Football Exceeding Expectations

Women and Girls Football Exceeding Expectations

More than 200 females aged between 14 and 25 in Newcastle are playing football on a regular basis thanks to a flagship programme run jointly by the Premier League, Sport England and The FA.

The FA Women’s and Girls’ Programme was launched in October 2013 to encourage more women and girls to play football. Nationally, 20,000 females have already taken part after £2.4 million of National Lottery money, from Sport England, was invested into The FA for the specific development of the female game.

In Year One of the programme Newcastle United Foundation delivered 353 sessions to 209 girls and has set up 12 satellite clubs across the region. Year Two started in September 2014 and the numbers are set to increase this season.

Football Development Officer for Women and Girls at the Foundation Lisa Bell said:

“It’s great to see so many teenage girls playing football through our Foundation. Together with Northumberland FA we are creating so many opportunities for girls to play, officiate and coach football.”

Simon Morgan, Head of Community Development at the Premier League, expressed his pride that basing the Women and Girls Programme on the Premier League 4 Sport model has been so successful.

“This initial positive experience, allied to the unique ability of Premier League clubs to continue to engage, motivate and inspire young people has made the first year of this collaborative girls programme such a success,” he said. “The quality of experienced and qualified Premier League club coaches has also had a demonstrable effect in retaining and sustaining this participation by the girls involved.

Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said that the programme was addressing the issue of women playing less sport than men, even though most would like to do more.

“Almost 120,000 women tell us that they want to play football,” Price said. “But the opportunities have to be right for those women to turn ambition into a reality.

“The quality of Premier League club coaches has also had an effect in retaining and sustaining participation.”

“Our investment in The FA for the delivery of Premier League Girls’ Football and the Football League Trust girls’ programme is helping us do this by giving young women the chance to try football and get quality coaching in a way tailored to them. By working together we can continue to address the barriers to women’s participation and close gender gap in sport.”

The Women and Girls programme is part of The FA’s wider strategy on growing participation figures for women’s football and its vision to be the second-largest team sport after men’s football by 2018.

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