Disney storytelling to get the nation’s girls physically active

ShootingStars launch

The FA’s Shooting Stars initiative launched this week in 1,200 primary schools across England to inspire girls to get active and learn the fundamentals of football. We are please to announce that we are a Girls Football Schools Partnership lead school and will be providing training, support and opportunities for schools to get involved in this new exciting ‘Shooting Stars’ initiative.

The initiative, inspired by Disney storytelling and produced in collaboration with the Youth Sport Trust and the National Literacy Trust, takes the form of two programmes:

The FA’s Shooting Stars Active Play Through Storytelling inspired by Disney. Using storytelling from Disney and Pixar’s 2018 smash-hit animated superhero movie Incredibles 2 and the classic 1992 animated version of Disney’s Aladdin, this part of the programme aims to capture Key Stage 1 girls’ imaginations whilst developing their fundamental movement and speaking and listening skills. Developed in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, these sessions, which aim to be the start of a child’s journey into sport, also allow the girls the opportunity to achieve the learning objectives which are based on the national curriculum for Key Stage 1 English and PE.

The FA’s Shooting Stars Girls’ Football Club inspired by Disney. These sessions see Key Stage 2 girls using the storytelling inspiration of the animated Disney XD TV series Guardians of the Galaxy to advance their sporting journey into a girls only after school club, where they will learn basic footballing skills whilst engaging in imaginative play.

The FA’s Shooting Stars initiative is available in over 1,200 primary schools in the first year of the programme but has ambitions to increase the number of schools taking part year-on-year. It is an integral part of the FA’s ‘Gameplan for Growth’ strategy for women’s and girls’ football, where they have the ambition of doubling participation by 2020.

Physical and online training resources have been created for the 1,200 schools taking part in the programme. The online resources, hosted at www.girlsfootballinschools.org, additionally allows every school across England to sign up and deliver the two Shooting Stars training programmes. The initiative also plans to regularly launch new programmes using different Disney characters and storytelling.

Baroness Sue Campbell, Director of Women’s Football at the FA, said:

“By engaging in the magic of Disney storytelling, the Shooting Stars programme allows girls to develop holistically whilst falling in love with sport, motivating them to participate in physical activity and football. These sessions are engaging, help girls develop their confidence and leadership skills and most importantly inspire them to get active at school and at home. Hopefully, this provides a positive starting point to a girls journey in football whereby she can go on to attend a fun football offer with Wildcats or a competitive offer in a mini soccer club.”

Research completed by the FA and YST found that extending the sessions beyond football enabled participants to develop a wider skillset and led to self-reported improvements from girls, coaches and parents, including:

  • Physical: Girls get active and enjoy rising to the challenge week on week. Parents and teachers reported sessions are physically tiring
  • Social: Opportunity to work with friends as well as girls outside of friendship group, in turn improving communication and teamwork skills
  • Technical: Coaches reported improvement week on week of technical skills during the drills
  • Psychological: Girls self-reported an improvement in their confidence levels

Karen Carney, the ex-England midfielder with 144 caps and four World Cup appearances, said: “It’s great to see initiatives like this launching and becoming more established in schools across the country. Football provides you with so many benefits – from teamwork and building friendships to physical literacy and confidence, and this programme will really help instil that into the girls who take part…”

Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, said: “By teaming up with The FA and the Youth Sport Trust, we can use the power of stories, football and the Disney characters that kids love to really make a positive difference to girls’ lives. The Shooting Stars programme is a fantastic way to support girls’ learning and literacy development. The online resources also launching today mean that every school and every teacher that wants to deliver the programme now can, bringing the magic of active storytelling to thousands of girls across the country.”

The FA and Disney has a long-term partnership together that aims to increase the role of football in girls’ lives up and down the country.

If you would like any further information regarding any of the training or support we will be offering please get in touch with Laura Mott who will be leading this work for South Cambs SSP: lmott@combertonvc.org


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