theFDC in Norwich welcomed over 270 girls to take part in a free FA Girls’ Football Festival as part of the FA Girl’s Football Week, following the opening event in the Sunderland on Monday. The festival, in association with Continental Tyres is aimed at increasing and retaining girls’ participation in the game.
More than 60,000 people will take part in FA Girls’ Football Week, with over 1,000 organisations including schools, clubs, further and higher education establishments and community groups putting on sessions throughout the week, to give girls and women more opportunities to play the game.
Girls aged between five and 16 years, from various schools across the county were invited to test their skills in a range of activities combining football, fun and music at FDC in Norwich. 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.
Accredited FA coaches led the event, with Norfolk FA staff and volunteers on hand to help out and referee. The sessions included skills and drills, interactive games, mini matches and the ContiWarmUp Programme - the coaching programme endorsed by the FA.
Also on offer was a range of innovative equipment, including an inflatable pitch, speed cage, target shoot, quick feet and batak boards, plus Charlotte Lade, one of the world’s leading professional football freestylers, who throughout the day, demonstrated her amazing tricks and skills.
Caroline Hulme, National Women’s Football Project Officer at The FA commented: “It is fantastic to see so many girls enjoying playing football during the FA Girl’s Football Week, some of whom it is their first experience of playing football.
“Huge thanks to Harry Diggens and his team from Norfolk FA for all the hardwork they have put in leading up to the event.
“We hope to see these girls continuing to play football in the future as a result of today, supporting our aim to double participation”.
The young athletes had the opportunity to meet some of the stars of the FA Women’s Super League (FAWSL), Jordan Butler and Georgina Giddings from Millwall Lionesses.
The two ladies were on hand to discuss life as a semi-professional female footballer and give advice on how to get involved in the game.
Georgina Giddings from Millwall said: ‘The FA Girls’ Football festival is a brilliant way to celebrate the development of the female game, particularly at the grassroots level. Today’s event reflects just how much it has improved over recent years, and how fun is still a major factor in the game.’
‘All of the activities surrounding the event added to the girls enjoyment and can only promote further participation. The level of support is growing rapidly and it is events like this that are enabling the game to continually develop.’
‘The initiative between The FA and Continental Tyres is providing a great opportunity nationwide for girls to participate. It’s of fundamental importance the girls enjoy themselves, especially for those who want to try football for the first time.’
‘All round, the day was brilliant and I think The FA is doing a great job of promoting the game. The standard of football played even at the Super League level is increasing year on year and it is the work at grassroots level and dedication of everyone involved that has produced this success.’
For more information on women’s football and where to play please visit www.TheFA.com/womens.