FA and professional game join forces to provide coaching sessions for 14-25 year-old females
Women's and girls' grassroots football has received a boost with news that the Football Association, Premier League and Football League have joined forces to deliver a scheme aimed at increasing the number of young women playing the game.
The new FA Women's and Girls' Programme will provide new grassroots sessions for 14-25-year-olds via professional clubs across the country, with investment of £2.4m from Sport England over the next two years.
The programme, which builds on the FA's five-year Game Changer strategy, aims to bring over 40,000 new female players into the sport through season-long coaching programmes delivered by Premier League and Football League club trusts.
Kelly Simmons, the FA's Director of National Game and Women’s Football, said: “I think it’s really important because one of the key areas of our Game Changer strategy is growing participation.
"We have a target through this partnership of 40,000 new young women playing football over the next two years. We’ve got qualified coaches in the clubs, so they get good quality coaching and have a fun experience at the same time."
The FA hopes that the programme will help women’s football to become the second largest team sport in the country, behind only men’s football, by 2018 - a key objective of the 2012 Game Changer strategy.
Trusts from 88 Premier League and Football League clubs will deliver the sessions through Level Two qualified coaches, while clubs will work in tandem with County FAs, schools, colleges and universities to engage new participants.
“The aim of this programme is to increase participation in women and girls’ football, and Premier League clubs are in a unique position to do that," said Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.
"Not only can they attract participants through the power of the badge, but critically, they can deliver a quality coaching experience.”
Listen to more of what the FA's Kelly Simmons had to say on the new scheme in the video below.