There has been a significant increase in the number of girls playing football, making it now the largest participation sport for girls in Wales. There are approximately 6,000 registered players in the eight junior and five senior leagues in Wales.
Girls football is promoted and enclorsed by FIFA and UEFA but the success of the programme in Wales can be attributed to the ongoing and valued support of the FAW, Area associations, leagues and other key partners.
Clubs have a massive impact on girls' football by providing opportunities for them to participate on a regular basis in leagues.
The benefits to a club of providing girls' football
- Encourages equal playing opportunities.
- Improves the club's image.
- Provides the first experience of football for many girls.
- Encourages players to adopt sport as a part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Provides the route for players into regular and orgainsed football.
- Helps the club expand.
- Helps the club enter more teams into local leagues.
- Helps the club recruit new volunteers and players.
- Helps the club generate more revenue.
- Helps the club progress to the higher level for the accreditation scheme.
- Provides more opportunities to access additional funding for new girls teams.
- Helps identify players for regional and national development squads.
Support is available through the WFT's local football development officers.
Advice for the new girls' football teams.
- The easiest option is to try to link to an existing club since which can provide support and guidance to help you start up.
- Try to start a team at the youngest age brand (mini football) where it is far easier to recruit both players and volunteers to run the team and the club. It is also more likely that players will stay with you and progress up the age groups.
- Creating links with local schools (see club-school links section) helps when in comes to recruiting players and volunteers and perhaps using the school facilties.
- Enter the team into a sanctioned, local league to provide regular games for players.
- You may be able to get funding from Sport Wales (formerly the Sports Council for Wales). For further information on grant aid contact www.sportswales.org.uk