Community Trust launch Female Football Development programme
Southend United is proud to launch the Female Football Development programme (FFD) with The Football League Trust. Set to play an integral role in the progression of the Women’s & Girls’ game, Southend United shall drive participation growth and retention, as it delivers free FFD sessions throughout 2014 and beyond.
Level 2 (and above) qualified coaches will deliver FFD sessions aimed at 14-25 year-olds, in cohesion with Essex FA, Schools, Colleges and Universities to engage with fresh participants, as part of the new FA Women’s and Girls’ programme. The programme presents an investment of over £2.4m in the next two years from Sport England funding, and aims to reach over 40,000 new players.
The Football League Trust’s FFD programme is a pivotal part of this, distributing £547,000 across the country, with an ambitious target to reach 14,760 new female players through Southend United and 53 of its fellow Football League clubs. FFD’s challenge, to account for over a third of The FA’s aims, in supporting the goal to make Women’s Football the second largest team sport in the country behind men’s football, is one which The Football League Trust is relishing;
Nicol Meredith, National Women’s and Girls’ Football Project Co-ordinator said: “This is a fantastic opportunity; the magnetism of our club badges within local communities matched with the passion of our coaches presents a solid foundation to deliver engaging FFD sessions. The Trust will embrace this chance, taking great pride in helping to make The FA national female goal a reality.”
Mike Evans, General Manager of The Football League Trust added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with The FA and Sport England on Female Football Development. A large number of our 72 trusts already deliver women’s and girls’ football to a very high standard, but this additional funding will allow more trusts to get involved, and allow us to service the demand that we know is out there to get more females into the game.”
FFD sessions aim to provide a relaxed and welcoming football environment, with a key focus on Fun, Fitness and Friendship.
Nicol Meredith said: “Whether it’s literally your first kick of a football or you’re ready to ease your way back into playing pressure free, give it a go. The social aspect plays a huge part; it’s about having a laugh with friends or people who soon will be, as team sport creates a unique bond between people from diverse backgrounds, helping to develop character, and skills transferable beyond the game. For those disillusioned by fitness, with tedious treadmills and heavy gym fees, FFD sessions offer a refreshing change, putting fun back into keeping healthy.”
Southend United FC’s FFD officer Joe Skeels, commented: “We’re really excited to be a part of this inspiring programme, and look forward to Southend United FC being among the clubs at the forefront of the future female game in England. The popularity of Women’s football in our city continues to grow, and we’re delighted that we can run fun sessions and open avenues for those who wish to progress beyond this”
For those who fall in love with the game for the first time, or all over again, there a numerous pathways into the sport at Southend United. Whether you wish to excel in playing, from grassroots to elite, combine playing with education, or become a coach that inspires the future generation: FFD is a foundation to go further.
To learn more about Southend United’s Female Football Development programme, and how you can get involved with the upcoming sessions please contact Joe Skeels on 01702 341351 or firstname.lastname@example.org.