GET READY FOR GIRLS’ FOOTBALL WEEK!
If you haven’t already seen it, Sport England’s new advert for the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign is a 60-second clip of inspiration worth factoring into your day. Challenging cultural assumptions about femininity that prevent women engaging in sport and exercise, this snippet of female energy at its most fierce and fabulous is sure to get you reaching for your trainers.
The launch of the ad is perfectly timed as we look forward to the approach of Girls’ Football Week (16th July – 6th August), a campaign that is all about empowering young girls to rule the pitch and raise the profile of female football. With an aim of doubling the number of women and girls playing football by 2020, the bar has been set and we’re ready to reach it!
Last year, 130,000 girls took part in the campaign which was almost four times the original target. This is great news for lovers of the sport and is a leap and a jump towards raising the popularity of female football. As Heather Rabbatts, an FA board member and chair of the governing body’s inclusion advisory board, states:
‘I know first-hand the experiences of many women in the game are increasingly positive; there are more women than ever before working in and making a fantastic contribution to football, both on and off the field.’
Whilst the FA has made ‘huge strides in creating opportunities for women and girls to play our national sport’ and football is now officially the biggest female team sport in England, there is still massive growth potential and lots of barriers to overcome. Rabbatts goes on to say: ‘we still have a considerable way to go before there is a level playing field for women working across the game’. Campaigns such as Girls’ Football Week are invaluable in leading towards this goal (excuse the pun!). There’s no question that the demand for female football is there but there’s certainly more to be done to up the numbers and spread the potential.
The involvement of females in football extends beyond bending the ball as the campaign also seeks to increase the number of female coaches, referees and administrators. The campaign encourages football activities for girls which can include playing, training or even just learning more about the beautiful game.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
This year FA Girls’ Football Week will run between 16th July and 6th August to coincide with England’s involvement in Euro 2017. so you and your team can get involved in supporting the Lionesses’ Euro campaign and join girls around the country in a summer football frenzy!
Simply register an activity online at FAGirlsFootballWeek.com and share your plans for your Euro celebrations! Organisations can register their on-going activities as part of the week or even start something new to kick-start girls’ football. You can get advice and inspiration from FA’s online resources once you’ve registered so you can get set up straight away and go for goal!
OPPORTUNITIES FOR GIRLS TO BRING THEIR GAME WITH RAYBURN TOURS
At Rayburn Tours, we’re dedicated to supporting girls’ love of football, so we’ll be backing the campaign all the way.
Giving girls the opportunity to play competitive fixtures, improve their skills in top training centres and bond as a team, our football tours can give young players a real boost in confidence and camaraderie. A football tour is also a great way to recruit footballers for your team – what better incentive to get their heads in the game?
Sports Tour Coordinator and football fanatic, Asha Devall, tells us all about the exciting opportunities for girls’ football with Rayburn Tours:
‘With the Women’s Euro 2017 tournament just around the corner, it is the perfect opportunity to get girls involved in football and what better way than going on tour? Not only will this be a team building activity but you will play against great opposition in different environments. Orlando, USA is definitely the perfect destination to take your girls away, a mix of theme parks, sunshine and good competitive games against local opposition is just ideal for your football tour. But if you’re after a more tournament style tour, definitely go to the Gothia Cup or Rey Cup – it will certainly give the girls a good run out against a number of different teams and nationalities.’
We are very excited to be an exclusive UK Travel Partner of Iceland’s Rey Cup. Open to both boys’ and girls’ teams, teams will play a minimum of six 11-a-side games, competing against a mixture of club and school teams.
Welcoming 1,709 boys’ and girls’ football teams from over 80 countries, the Gothia Cup is the biggest youth football tournament in the world and is a fantastic opportunity for girls’ teams to bring their game!
For more information about our football tours, get in touch online or call the team on 01332 347 828.
However you choose to get involved in Girls’ Football Week, strap on your shinpads, pull up your socks and get out on the pitch!