Gillingham FC are proud to support the Female Football Development ProgrammeThe Football League Trust, in partnership with The FA and the Premier League, has increased participation in Female Football by over 20,000 in the last year and Gillingham Football Club’s Community Trust has supported their efforts.
The programme has smashed its targets for the first year and the Trust has hit their targets to help boost the number of women and girls in football.
Since the launch of the scheme in October 2013, 20,992 females between the ages of 14 and 25 have got involved in football sessions run all over the country, as part of the FA Women’s and Girls’ Programme. The aim of the programme is to make Women’s football the second largest sports behind the Men’s game by 2018, it currently lies 4th.
With programmes like Female Football Development (FFD) where the focus of sessions is on Friends, Fun and Fitness, girls who don’t normally get an opportunity to be involved in football as they may not be deemed “technically” good enough to be selected for a team can now enjoy the benefits of the sport with no judgement or pressure to perform.
We currently deliver eight one hour sessions a week for 10 weeks at each school, seeing a minimum of 15 girls per session. At some schools the interest from girls requires extra coaches to cope with the volume of participants. The programme is making such an impact that girls from one particular school have asked to extend their session to 75 minutes because “it’s so much fun.”
“The girls love the sessions and it genuinely is making such a difference, not just to their football skills but their confidence around school as well.” Teacher at Wilmington Academy
The Community Trust and Kent FA help each participant to make a smooth transition into continuing their new found love for football after the 10 week programme by providing details and contacts of local grassroots teams and encouraging and supporting schools and clubs to continue the training programmes.
The Trust strongly support the FFD programme and strive to deliver as much positivity and excitement into the sessions to ensure we keep the girls interested. We’ve had Gills Ladies Manager Simon Ratcliffe and first team players from Gillingham Ladies and our Girls Academy visit and join in sessions.
A tournament has also been organised for next month which will give all the schools involved in the programme to attend and one of our schools has been picked to participate in a National Football Festival at the Lucozade PowerLeague at Wembley before the historical England v Germany Ladies match at Wembley this Sunday, 23rd November.
To find out more about the programme or if you school would like to get involved please contact Female Football Development Office, Georgia Bowie, firstname.lastname@example.org or 01634 350125.