Seventeen South Cambs schools took part in the #LetGirlsPlay Biggest EVER Football Session on Wednesday 8th March with over 2,500 girls taking part and highlighting the demand for girls’ football.
The event supported by Barclays and England Football as part of their ongoing commitment to give girls in England equal access to football in schools by 2024 coincided with International Women’s Day and saw a record 285,000 girls taking part across England.
As a strategic lead for the Barclays Girls Football School Partnerships programme the South Cambs School Sport Partnership supported the event by encouraging schools to get involved and helping to link them with their local girl’s football club/provider and get their coaches in to run fun taster sessions on the day.
The girls at Pathfinder Primary School in Northstowe were extra lucky to receive a visit from professional footballer and MK Dons Player Angelina Nixon. Angelina delivered a whole school assembly where she talked about how she got into football and her journey so far before she shared her dreams for the future and how she one day hopes to play for the Lionesses. Angelina then helped to deliver coaching sessions for 180 girls from reception through to Year 6.
Claire McDonnell, local strategic lead said: “The day was a great opportunity to promote girls’ football in our schools and the importance of giving girls equal opportunities to play. It was great to be able to work with coaches from seven local clubs to provide fun sessions for the girls and give many of them their first opportunity to play football. Despite the cold conditions on the day, I can honestly say every single girl enjoyed it and took part with a big smile, it was really inspiring to see. Lots of them left asking if they could do it again or play at lunchtimes with their friends and this is something we really want to encourage. Today’s event has certainly proven to me how many girls want to play and therefore how important it is we work with schools to give them that chance.”
Sue Campbell, the FA’s director of women’s football, said: “The record number of girls taking part in our Let Girls Play Biggest Ever Football Session this year is simply remarkable. We have tripled the number of girls taking part compared to last year, which just shows the increased demand for girls to play football. Barclays investment into the Girls’ Football School Partnerships has been integral in supporting our ambition to get more girls playing football.”