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Girls’ Football Day inspires next generation

Three young female footballers standing next to two adults with a banner with the learn together, live together, play together motto
The event was part of the PLAY Together strand of the programme, designed to introduce new people to football as a sport for all

Free football day inspires young girls to take up the sport

A football day designed to encourage more young girls to take part in the sport took place last month.

Nearly 70 girls aged 5-13 from across Sussex took part in a free football day on the Community Pitch at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, Lancing, on October 24, 2022.

The event was funded by American Express, the main sponsor of Brighton & Hove Albion Women’s team and was delivered by Albion in the Community (AITC), the official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club (BHAFC).

Matt Dorn, CEO, at Albion in the Community, said:

“Women and girls football has had a huge boost this summer. We’ve seen a 100 per cent increase in girls football participants compared to the same period in 2021; double the amount of girls wanting to take part in our activities.

 

“On top of this we’ve seen a 73 per cent boost in girls joining our Talent Pathway and Advanced Centres – girls who are taking a serious interest in football and want to play at the highest level.”

The session forms part of their wider bespoke ‘LEARN, LIVE, PLAY Together’ volunteer programme which combines the power of football and passion for BHAFC with the time, energy and expertise of American Express colleagues, to help local communities across Sussex.

The PLAY Together strand of the programme has been designed to introduce new people to football as a sport for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion, so that everyone feels welcome.

The event included warm ups, shooting, dribbling, small–sided matches and tournaments.

Girls of all playing abilities, including beginners, participated in practical drills to develop technical skills, increase self-confidence and encourage teamwork.

American Express colleagues helped organise the session and provided support as assistant coaches and match officials.

Brighton & Hove Albion Women’s goalkeepers Megan Walsh and Katie Startup dropped by to the session to offer encouragement and answer questions.

Brighton & Hove Albion Women’s goalkeepers: Megan Walsh and Katie Startup talking to some of the girls
Brighton & Hove Albion Women’s goalkeepers: Megan Walsh and Katie Startup dropped by to the session

Nikki Edelman, Vice President at American Express, said: “Football is a powerful tool to inspire young people. Our partnership with the Club includes specific investment in women’s and girls’ football, as well as nurturing female talent and encouraging engagement in the sport.

“Sessions like today open up the game to girls at a young age, giving them the opportunity, encouragement and confidence to play and is part of our wider commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.”

For more information about future sessions telephone: 01273 878277 or email: soccerschools@albioninthecommunity.org.uk

For more information about Albion in the Community click here

Read how a young girl who took part in Pulborough youth project is now training at the facility in Lancing with the under 13s team.

Girls playing football
Girls of all playing abilities participated in practical drills
Girls kicking the football ball
The event included warm ups, shooting, dribbling, small–sided matches and tournaments
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