Girls take centre stage

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Amy Turner and Karen Bardsley pose for a selfie with participants at at the Girls’ Football Week launch

 

Chelsea Ladies’ preparation for one of the biggest European matches in their history coincides with FA Girls’ Football Week, an initiative to encourage more female students to take up the game.

Free taster football sessions have been staged up and down the country, including one in at Kingston College, just down the road from tomorrow night’s showdown against Rosengard of Sweden at Kingsmeadow.

Jo Shaw, from the college, runs training at after-class meetings until November 10, aimed at 16 to 19-year-olds.

A similar blitz of training sessions in 2016 saw more than 80,000 participants take part. This year is the sixth that the initiative has run; one of a series of projects delivered by The FA as part of its Gameplan for Growth – a pledge to double participation of women and girls in football by 2020.

England star Karen Bardsley said: “Football is a fun way to stay fit and make new friends, and the FA Girls’ Football Week initiative is a perfect, relaxed opportunity to give football a go.”

Kelly Simmons, FA Participation and Development Director, added: “What we want to see is more females of all ages playing the game and we have set ourselves the target of doubling participation by 2020 via Gameplan for Growth.

“At the very heart of The FA Girls’ Football Week is giving girls throughout the country the chance to try football, have some fun, keep fit and make a new group of friends. Hopefully girls who don’t play football regularly, will enjoy the sessions and be inspired to take up the game in the future.”

Tickets are still available for Wednesday night’s Chelsea Ladies v Rosengard match at 7.05pm at Kingsmeadow.

Full details at www.chelseafc.com