Hundreds of girls descended on Platt Lane Complex in Manchester last week (Tuesday 10 Ocotber) to take part in a free FA Girls’ Football Festival, aimed at increasing and retaining girls’ participation in the game. The festivals are a joint initiative by The FA and Continental Tyres, providing an exciting, interactive football experience for both those new to the game and regular players.
The young athletes had the opportunity to meet some of the biggest stars of the FA Women’s Super League (FAWSL), as four Manchester City Women players attended on the day. Jane Ross, Ella Toone, Ellie Roebuck and Marie Hourihan all took part in a Q&A session at the end of the festival, inspiring the girls and giving advice on how to get involved in the game.
Jane Ross, Manchester City Women’s striker commented; "The FA Girls’ Football Festival is a brilliant way to celebrate the development of the female game, particularly at grassroots level. Today’s event reflects just how much women’s football has improved over recent years. The festivals are providing a great opportunity nationwide for girls to participate. All round, the afternoon was fantastic at it’s great to see how much support and effort has been but into today’s festival."
The FA Girls’ Football Festival brought together schools from across the city and was organised through the support of the Manchester Football Association. Girls aged between five and 16 years from various schools in the county were invited to test their skills in a range of activities combining football, fun and music.
FA approved coaches led the event, with a number of FA staff and volunteers also there to help out on the day. Sessions from The FA Skills team included drills, interactive games and mini matches.
In addition to the range of activities, Charlotte Lade, one of the world’s leading professional football freestylers, was on hand throughout the day demonstrating her amazing tricks.
Caroline Hulme, National Women’s Football Project Manager at The FA commented; "It is fantastic to see so many young girls enjoying playing football here today in Manchester, some of whom it is their first experience of the game and may even be the very first time they have kicked a ball. Thank you to the Manchester FA for all the hard work they have put in leading up to the event to ensure girls in the County have the opportunity to play.
"As a result of today, we hope to see these girls continuing to play football in the future. A huge thank you must go to our sponsor Continental Tyres who have given over 6,500 girls the opportunity to try out football this year, helping us support The FA’s aim to double female participation by 2020!"
For more information on women’s football and where to play, visit: www.TheFA.com/ForGirls