Girls go for their goals with the Eighth Wonder programme
Gillingham FC Community Trust are proud to be supporting the Eighth Wonder programme providing opportunities for young women to get involved in football – whether as player, coach or club staff.
The Eighth Wonder programme offers 14-20 year old women a unique opportunity to break into the world of football. Founded by former Kent FA and Gillingham FC Head of Marketing and Communications, Charlotte Richardson, the programme is aimed at developing future female leaders of football, with participants having access to mentoring opportunities and a chance to contribute to the volunteer workforce in Kent.
The initiative launched last week with a fantastic development day for participants, which included a range of workshops to inspire the girls and build their skills and confidence. It then finished with a panel session of inspirational people from sport, including Gillingham FC Post-16 Girls Academy coach and former player Ian Cox, who provided some strong advice for the participants: “Believe in yourself – if you have a dream, keep believing in yourself and keep going for it one step at a time”.
For the participants it was a real eye-opener for what they could achieve. Members of the GFC Girls Regional Talent Club (RTC), who attended the event, said afterwards: “The best bit about the day was learning new stuff about careers we didn’t know about. It proved we can actually do it – we thought it was harder than it actually is, so we are more aware now.”
Female football participation
A clear message from the day from the FA’s Director of Participation, Kelly Simmons MBE, was that the FA is dedicated to doubling girls’ participation by 2020, and really providing ‘football for all’ across the country. This is a mission that the GFC Community Trust is keenly supporting through their efforts to promote and deliver more female football across Kent.
The Trust has built their female football provision, and now offer opportunities for girls across the county at all levels. Our Girls RTCs and Post-16 Girls Academy provide opportunities for talented youngsters to really develop in the game, while our girls-only after school clubs and Soccer Schools give girls of all abilities the opportunity to have a go on the pitch. The Trust has also been keenly supporting local opportunities, including the Kent ContiUK Girls’ Football Festival, Girls’ Football Week coaching sessions, and our upcoming Kinder +Sport EFL Girls Cup competition.
Women and Girls’ Development Officer Georgia Bowie said; “Our coaching team is now expanding, and we have more female role models out there encouraging the girls to strive to do their best in whatever they want to do, especially football. We are now in a great place where we have the ability to hire more female coaches and teachers to deliver all of these projects at a high standard.”
If you are interested in any of our female football development opportunities, contact Georgia Bowie via GBowie@priestfield.com.
For more information about the Eighth Wonder programme, click here.