Girls Football Festival 2016

Over 300 girls descended on WISE Campus, SGS College in Bristol this week to take part in a free FA Girls’ Football Festival, aimed at increasing and retaining girls’ participation in the game, mirroring The FA’s ‘We Can Play’ campaign.

The final FA Girls’ Football Festival this year brought together schools from across the city and was organised through the support of the Gloucestershire County FA. Girls aged between five and 16 years from various schools in the county were invited to test their skills in a range of activities combining football, fun and music.

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.

FA approved coaches led the event, with a number of FA staff and volunteers also there to help out and referee. Sessions from the FA Skills team included drills, interactive games, mini matches and the ContiWarmUp Programme - the coaching programme from Continental Tyres endorsed by the FA.

Caroline Hulme, National Women’s Football Project Officer at The FA commented “It is fantastic to see so many young girls enjoying playing football here today in Gloucestershire, some of whom it is their first experience of football and may even be the very first time they have kicked a ball. Thank you to Alexis and her team from Gloucestershire County FA for all the hard work they have put in leading up to the event to ensure girls in the County have the opportunity to play.”

“We hope to see these girls continuing to play football in the future as a result of today, a huge thank you must go to our sponsor Continental Tyres who have given over 8,000 girls the opportunity to try out football this year supporting our aim to double female participation by 2020!”

Girls also had the amazing opportunity to talk to Jasmine Matthews and Hayley Ladd from Bristol City Women. They ended the festival with a great question and answer session, to inspire the young girls, as well as give an insight on the many pathways and opportunities there are in order to get into football.

In addition to the two local FA WSL stars, Charlotte Lade, one of the world’s leading professional football freestylers, who throughout the fulfilled day, demonstrated her amazing tricks and skills.

Alexis Lunn-Gadd, Football Development Officer at Gloucestershire FA said “The Festival in Gloucestershire was a massive success engaging over 300 girls from 20 different primary schools. We will now work with these schools to build the links with our local charter standard clubs to ensure that there are further opportunities for the girls to play locally.”

“We were delighted to host the event at the Wise Campus of SGS college and home of Bristol City WFC. Having the first team players involved and engaging with the girls really added to the atmosphere and overall experience for everyone including the girls, teachers and parents.

For more information on women’s football and where to play please visit www.TheFA.com/womens.

Images from the day can be found here