Funding boost for women’s grassroots game

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.

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Dan Pope
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Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

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  1. Mark Lockyear on November 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Once again, grassroots clubs are ignored! Funding should be targeted towards grassroots clubs directly.

  2. Brian Radford on November 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I totally agree with Mark, all this does it get girls already in football to go to the big clubs where they can cream off the talented players while what is needed is funding for the small grassroots clubs to bring in younger girls who want to play, plus get them younger and they will stay as I can vouch with the number of players who have started & stayed at our club .

  3. Alan Smith on November 28, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Once again the funding does not go to where it would produce results ie straight to the clubs that run girls and football teams or to local councils to provide the facilities to develop girls and womens football.

  4. Jim O'Rourke on November 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Will this new provision for girls football be delivered in their own communities, ie near to where they live? Grassroots football has to be accessible.

    If not then this scheme won’t work.

  5. Simon Burgess on November 29, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Again the FA have got it wrong I’ve been involved in girls football for the last 7 years and it seems like some clubs struggle to get girls teams up and running due mainly to funding and interest. We also have to get past the thought of football being a sport for males only, yes there are more boys playing football than girls so surely the money would be better spent at grassroots levels where children boys and girls start there footballing life so give the funding to grassroots clubs who can then hold summer training camps for girls also the FA need to have stronger links with the education system, think how many kids go to school and if the FA can get a small percentage of girls from these schools to go to these summer camps run by local grassroots football clubs then maybe we can help improve girls football. We must (and the FA) remember the help that so many grassroots clubs give to finding new and talented footballers.

  6. Julie Woodhouse on November 30, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I totally agree. With the restructuring of the ladies league the financial commitment by clubs will be huge especially as our team who live on an Island. We have been attempting to gain access to funding to be able to hold the very thing that this is aimed at – young players but with little success. We have not benefited from any of these initiatives in the past. We await to see whether this one is different but somehow I doubt it. I agree with the comments above this is another way of making it easier for the big clubs to cream off the players.

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