Latest installment of FA initiative demonstrates "huge appetite" for women and girls to play football
A record 130,000 girls and women turned out in 2016 to take part in Girls' Football Week - the Football Association's initiative to get more females playing the national game.
Last week more than 80,000 people - almost four times the original target - took part in the second Girls' Football Week of 2016, to add to the 50,000 people involved in the first week of activities back in April.
“These figures demonstrate what a huge appetite there is for women and girls to play football when they are given the opportunity," said Baroness Sue Campbell, head of women's football at the FA.
A total of 1,485 events took place in the latest Girls' Football Week, which was created to drive female participation by encouraging academic and sports institutions and organisations to run football sessions.
“We've committed to doubling female participation by 2020 and weeks like this will go a long way to us attracting more players into the game and building the momentum we will need to achieve that," said Baroness Campbell, who was in Birmingham to watch 100 students take part in football sessions organised by Aston University and Walsall College.
“We would like to thank all of the organisations that have put on sessions and those that have played football, and worked so hard to make this week such a success. Hopefully it will encourage women and girls to carry on playing the game throughout the year.”
England Women assistant coach Marieanne Spacey, who was also in attendance, added: “It was great to be here today and meet so many women and girls who were enjoying playing the game.
“Playing football and weeks like these offer so much more than just the game itself – it's also the opportunity to be outside, be active and make friends. Without football organising these events, it might not be as possible.”
Girls' Football Week was delivered in partnership with the Independent Schools FA, English Schools FA, Associations of Colleges Sport, British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS), the Premier League and the English Football League.
To find out more about future events, keep an eye on fagirlsfootballweek.com.
Image courtesy of TheFA.com