We have seen a massive development in the girls’/women’s game in the country, with a Club Development Officer for Girls’/Women’s Football appointed in each of the six Scottish FA regions through support funding from Cashback in the Community.
I have been tasked with increasing participation, (particularly the number of registered players in clubs) and supporting clubs to ensure they are strong and sustainable. I am very excited about my new role as I had numerous barriers when growing up and wanting to play football. I have always promised myself that I would strive to create opportunities for girls to play football, and now I have a great chance to do so.
Girls’ and women’s football is the fastest growing sport in the world, we need volunteers to help grow the game in Scotland. We have clubs throughout West region who have the desire to develop the girls’ game; these clubs need players and volunteers to ensure they have a strong structure and are sustainable.
Schools currently have girls playing football on a weekly basis throughout the region and I will work closely with Football Development Officers to ensure we provide opportunities for girls to play at their local club. The aim for year one is to work with current clubs to improve their structure and increase the number of girls playing and the number of volunteers involved, particularly women. If there are no girls club in the area then we will be looking to work with current boys clubs who have a passion to create a girls section at their club.
By working closely with Active Schools and Football Development departments within local authorities, we want to create match day activity for under-9s and under-11s girls’ football in the west region.
I have been working with different clubs to start training sessions for 7-13 year olds, and we need volunteers not only to coach, but to help with all aspects of running a team. We want to create an environment where girls can play against other girls. I would love all girls to have a positive experience of playing football with their friends in a fun environment from an early age.
I have organised female-only level 1 & level 2 coach education courses to encourage more females to get involved in the game. In the West region we are also delivering a female-only player pathway in-service night to provide females with coaching content for working with under-9 to 13s teams.
Girls and women desperately need greater sporting role models, so it is vital that I work closely with clubs to encourage attendance at Scotland Women’s National Team games, not only to encourage participation, but also to inspire girls to play at the top-level.
Our Women’s National Team have a great chance of qualifying for the European Championships in 2013, and strong backing from fans for Anna Signeul’s side will play a big part in our qualification chances.
Women’s National Team players have the opportunity to attend events that will promote the girls’/women’s game. If you have any girls football events that you would like to get one of the country’s top female players along to, please get in touch with your local Girls’ & Women’s Club Development Officer.
To grow the women’s game, we need players, volunteers, proactive clubs, and supporters at our Women’s National Team games. Are you ready to get involved?