Football has historically been seen as a male sport; however, girls across the UK are being encouraged to get involved in the sport. The FA launched Girls’ Football Week, which takes place during April, to encourage even more involvement.
In 2017 the programme was delivered to over 60,000 girls at educational and community establishments across the UK. Its aim is not necessarily to pique an interest in football per se, but rather to ensure that girls have the opportunity to try a new sport, make friends, and above all stay active. 2018 will be no different, as the organisers hope to surpass the number of participants of the previous year.
While a key aim is getting young girls to stay active, there is – of course – the hope that the sessions will spark an interest with some of the participants so that they have a desire to continue with the sport, perhaps finding some of the stars of the future.
Many of the sessions take a structured format, perhaps using soccer drill videos from resources such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Soccer/drills.jsp to demonstrate the skills and discipline required for the sport.
The face of female British football
At the international level, UK football teams play for their individual nationality; therefore, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales compete individually and have seen some success. When it comes to competitions such as the Olympics, these nations must come together as a united Great Britain to be included. Sadly, this was not to be for the 2016 games in Rio, with some of the world’s best players from the United Kingdom missing out on the opportunity to play on one of the greatest sporting stages.
Hopefully, things will be different at the 2020 games in Tokyo. According to the BBC, the FA is working hard to ensure this happens and is looking to gain agreement from all four individual nations.
While women’s football may not yet quite have the kudos – or salary – of the men’s game, it is hoped that initiatives such as Girls’ Football Week will encourage girls to at least try the once male-dominated sport. The event is scheduled to take place between 23 and 29 April 2018 and anyone interested in running an event can register via the FA website.