What is Girls' Football Week, and why is it important?
Despite the rise of women’s football across the globe, particularly in Europe, there is still a deep-seated stigma in a lot of European countries against female footballers. And so, despite seeing women compete and steal the spotlight on the highest stages, from the World Cup to the Euros to the Champions League, there are still young girls who still might not feel like the sport is for them.
That’s why the FA has teamed up with Disney for Girls’ Football Week, an annual, national campaign. Since 2014, the English FA has been using the initiative to try encouraging more women to get into football — part of their attempt to double the number of women in the sport by 2020.
It’s something that professional players now wish they had growing up, when there was far less encouragement for the heavily male dominated sport.
“I was in the playground and had to ask the boys if I could join in,” says English international Laura Bassett of her experience when she was younger. “When I was growing up, we didn’t really have many opportunities, but Girls’ Football Week offers a lot of chances to girls who maybe haven’t played football before or even if they have played a bit.”
But the FA, and clubs around the country, are on a mission to make sure that isn’t the case anymore.
— Wigston Foxes (@WigstonFoxes) April 23, 2018
— Saints Foundation (@SFC_Foundation) April 27, 2018
— Wetherby Girls (@WagjfcFootball) April 17, 2018
GIRLS FOOTBALL WEEK⚽️👧🏽: Wow what an excellent turnout despite the weather…over 150 girls took part in our Festival today @SGPWestfield! Thanks to everyone who came, we hope you enjoyed it as much as us! #GirlsFootballWeek #SSEWildcats #PLGirls #Inspire pic.twitter.com/7oTbtLu85P
— SUFC Community (@CommunitySUFC) April 24, 2018