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For the first time, The FA and Sport England have joined forces with the Premier League and The Football League to provide new grassroots women’s and girls’ football sessions for 14-25 year olds with professional clubs across the country through the new Female Football Development Programme.
The joint initiative, with an investment of over £2.4m over the next two years from Sport England funding, will see Premier League and Football League Club charities deliver season-long coaching programmes, aiming to reach over 40,000 new female players into the sport.
The initiative has allowed Reds in the Community to offer and deliver a range of new ‘female only’ school-based activities across Barnsley and surrounding areas. Although there is high participation in extra-curricular activities in primary schools, particular in the lower age groups, there is very low uptake in high schools. The programme aims to increase opportunities and drive participation figures for female football. These sessions are linked to a variety of structured pathways including supporting links with Barnsley Ladies, local junior teams and RITC activities. These developments are lead by our newly appointed Women & Girls Development Officer, Lynn Goodman.
Kelly Simmons, FA director of national game and women’s football, said: “Working alongside our partner organisations to deliver such excellent results demonstrates just what potential there is for women’s football in this country, at both grassroots and elite levels. One of our biggest challenges, apart from attracting new players, is retention, so programmes like this which run for long periods of time, will certainly help us tackle that and help women’s football to become the second most-played sport in the country.”
For further information please phone 01226 211333 or email [email protected]