First Women’s Walking Football Competition Honours Pioneers

The very first women’s national walking football tournament is set to take place in Preston, Lancashire on Sunday 2nd July 2017 to commemorate 100 years of the Dick, Kerr Ladies.

In the history of women’s football, The Dick, Kerr Ladies are the most successful team in the world. They were formed at the Dick, Kerr & Co Ltd munitions factory in Preston, Lancashire during the First World War, these very ordinary factory girls from Preston quite literally took the country by storm.

On Christmas Day 1917, 10,000 spectators came to Deepdale, the home of Preston North End Football Club, to witness the start of the most phenomenal success story in the history of women’s sport. Dick, Kerr Ladies notched up the first of many famous victories whilst raising £600 for wounded soldiers.

On Boxing Day 1920, 53,000 spectators packed into Goodison Park, Everton, to see the Dick, Kerr Ladies take on St Helens Ladies, with another 14,000 people locked out and unable to gain admission to the ground. Another victory was recorded for the Dick, Kerr team and an incredible amount of £3,115 was raised for charity.

During the War the Government appointed women welfare supervisors and sent them into the factories to oversee the physical well-being of the factory girls and encourage the development of sporting activities. Among those activities was football, and football became the official sport of the munitions girls. Almost every factory across the United Kingdom involved in war work, had a ladies football team.

Incredibly, in 1921 the FA banned womens football, setting back the development of the womens game for decades. However, the Dick, Kerr ladies continued to play football around the world until 1965 leaving behind a glittering legacy.

For more on the story of the Dick, Kerr Ladies visit www.dickkerrladies.com

Tournament Details

The first national women’s walking football competition will be held in Preston on 2nd July 2017 to commemorate 100 years of the Dick, Kerr Ladies.

  • Teams of 6-A-Side Women (squad of up to 9 women players with flexi-substitutions)
  • Two age groups – Over 40’s and Over 50’s
  • Over 50’s Teams must consist of over 50’s Women (with two women players under 50 permitted, but with only one under 50 on the pitch at any time)
  • Over 40’s Teams must consist of over 40’s Women (with two women players under 40 permitted, but with only one under 40 on the pitch at any time)
  • National Tournament Official Rules and more information at www.walkingfootballunited.co.uk
  • Entry fee £30 per team – plus admin fee of £2.45 if booking online at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dick-kerr-ladies-cup-national-womens-walking-football-
  • tournament-tickets-28311050113
    Closing date for entries 30th April 2017.

For further information contact mel@pne.com

FFD: 3 years of success

Our Female Football Development (FFD) programme, run in partnership with the Premier League and thanks to funding from the FA and Sport England, is reaching the end of it’s third successful year.

We have engaged over 45,000 women in the project, 21% of which were from a BAME background. Since 2013, 96% of the women involved are still involved in football or other sports activity.

Jordan Nobbs Player App

A further injection of funding from The Mayor of London’s office has allowed a number of clubs from the capital city to unite to specifically target women who struggle to exercise and keep active. The clubs offered a range of fitness and exercise activities to groups such as the over 40’s or those with a disability.

The project has seen the first ever EFL Trust Football Festival for women over 30 take place at Wembley’s Lucozade Powerleague with over 80 women taking part! The day highlighted the social aspect of women’s football and really emphasized how far women’s football has progressed in the past 3 years. Morale was high, giving the ladies the perfect opportunity to display the skills they had practiced in weekly sessions.

FFD has given a generation of women who missed the female football revolution a chance to get involved. Two women who joined Crawley Town’s COGS initiative after standing on the side lines for years have now gone a step further and qualified as FA Level One coaches. Carol Bates and Maria Iula Harris are from a generation of women that missed the female football revolution but thanks to the EFL Trust FFD programme they have taken up the sport later in life and have now begun delivering coaching sessions to the rest of the COGS! This qualification could benefit the ladies for years to come, really highlighting the longevity of the projects success and making it apparent that FFD has made a real impact on female football participation which will live on for years to come.

ffd post pic 2

Julie Cartmell is another lady who has been bitten by the football bug, she attended over 25’s ladies sessions in Brentford since it began in February. It is aimed at engaging ladies that have never kicked a ball to get involved in the game within a fun, social environment. Julie another lady born into the generation that football missed, and is elated that it is now her time to do what she loves! Over the summer, Brentford Women’s FC held trials for any player’s wanting to join the new Development Team. After successfully passing her trial, Julie has now joined the team and will regularly be training and playing in matches, representing Brentford Women’s FC!

ffd post pic 3

Nicol Meredith, Project Manager for FFD commented: “The project has been an amazing success with over 45,000 women and girls being introduced to football over 3 years. Across the EFL we have changed the landscape of the game and will continue to build for many years to come. The key to success has been our strong partnership across each County FA, along with the use female roles models and a touch of innovation.  We didn’t only increase participation but we inspired a generation of girls and women.”

The project will now extend into its 4th year which is a testament to the hard work and achievement of each club!

First Ever Over 30’s Football Festival for Women

Women from the generation that missed the female football revolution took a trip to Wembley at the weekend to enjoy the first ever EFL Trust Football festival for women aged over 30. The Festival at Lucozade Powerlegue saw over 80 women take part across 8 teams representing 6 clubs: Crawley Town, AFC Wimbledon, Swindon, Brentford, Dagenham and Redbridge and Coventry City. The talented AFC Wimbledon took the winning titles for both the plate and the cup on the day, whilst Sue Keeka from Brentford took the title for top goal scorer.

IMG_0030

Being the EFL Trust’s first ever football festival for Women aged over 30, morale was high and the day was fun filled. This gave the ladies the opportunity to display the skills they practice in weekly sessions in a competitive but relaxed environment, whilst socialising with ladies of similar ability and background.

Former Millwall Lionesses player, and FFD ambassador Dionne Lennon made an appearance on the day and was thrilled to support the ladies and see the skills on show, she commented: “What an amazing day…. It was great speaking to some of the players and hearing their stories about why they started playing football and what it has done for them was fantastic. The atmosphere was great despite the competitive edge to the games!  It was a real pleasure to attend.”

Last year, The Crawley Cogs developed sessions specifically for older ladies, the generation that missed the female football revolution. These sessions were developed specifically for ladies who have an interest and passion for football but have stood on the side lines for years: mums of grass roots players, season ticket holders, and anyone who may not have had the opportunity to participate before. From there there has been a progression in the development of over 30’s football teams. Evidently, there has been a real boom in participation in the older age range.  With over 500 women aged 30 and above now actively playing football with our clubs, there has been a 346% increase on year 1 of the FFD programme.

Carol Bates, one of the founding members of COGS, added: “It was fantastic to see so many over 30s ladies take part in the first ever tournament of its kind, nationally. After starting with 10 ladies at our first COGS session it was incredible to think that this had led to teams from other EFL Clubs coming together and enjoying football.”

We caught up with some of the COG’s players and they had a chat with us about why they love football:

Rachel Pavlou from the FA commented:

“We are delighted that the EFL Trust provided such a fantastic opportunity for these women to play football and we would like to thank all the clubs that took part… The FA has an ambitious target of doubling female participation and so initiatives like this, to provide opportunities for women over the age of 30, are crucial in helping us achieve these aims… many of these women have barely played football as there haven’t been the chances for them before, so we hope that this encourages them to keep playing the game. We would also like to thank Powerleague for providing the facilities as part of the good work that they are doing to increase the number of women that play football in their centres.”

 

Women Over 30’s Festival at Wembley’s Powerleague: Preview

Ladies around the country are preparing for the Women over 30’s Festival as Wembley’s Powerleague this weekend!

This will be the first ever football tournament for women over 30, hosted by the EFL Trust, and funded through the Female Football Development (FFD) programme.

With a 346% increase in women’s participation in the first year of the FFD Programme, 500 women over the age of 30 are now playing football with EFL clubs. The boom in participation has meant the demand for competitive football has increased and this festival, taking place outside of Wembley Stadium  has presented a fantastic opportunity to do so.

There will be 8 teams taking part, representing 6 clubs;

AFC Wimbledon, Coventry City, Swindon Town, Dagenham & Redbridge, Crawley COGS, and Brentford.

All of the women taking part are over 30 years old, many of which missed the female football revolution, many of these women have never had the opportunity to play at this level before, with the oldest participant being 56! This programme has had countless benefits for the ladies, allowing them to socialise with other women similar to themselves, as well as get fit in a fun, and non-discriminatory environment.

Nicol Meredith, Project Manager of the FFD Programme comments:

“The FFD programme has come on leaps and bounds since it begun and has brought the benefits of sport to women and to girls who previously might not have considered playing football. The relaxed, social atmosphere has encouraged thousands of players back to the sport who previously left the game. The ladies find it extremely the sessions liberating so to now play in the first Over 30’s women’s festival at Wembley has presented them with an opportunity not to be missed!”

Former Millwall player, and FFD ambassador, Dionne Lennon is delighted to be making an appearance at Powerleague on the day and is looking forward to seeing the skills on display. She commented:

“The Female Football Development programme is brilliant and has really made an impact. The EFL Trust has done a fantastic job getting women back into playing football and attracting those who have never had the chance to play this great game. It’s a pleasure for me to have been asked by Millwall Community Trust to be their  FFD Ambassador and I am really looking forward to be attending the tournament on Sunday and any future inovlement to support and grow the women’s game even further.”

We would like to thank Sport England and the FA for funding this programme, as well as Lucozade Powerleague for providing their pitches on the day and working along side us to further enhance female football participation.

Crawley Old Girls Get Into Coaching

Two ladies from Crawley who’ve stood on the side lines for years have just qualified as FA level One coaches.

Carol Bates and Maria Iula Harris are from a generation of women that missed the female football revolution but thanks to the EFL Trust FFD programme they’ve taken up the sport later in life. They were introduced to football by Crawley Town’s COGS (Crawley Old Girls Initiative), which was developed specifically for older ladies, who have an interest and passion for football, but who may not have had the opportunity to participate before. In addition, the ladies have used their newly developed skills recently to help deliver a session to the rest of the COGS ladies, supporting grassroots football.

Nicol Mererdith from the EFL Trust commented: “It’s really fantastic that the COGS ladies have had this opportunity. Our FFD programme has certainly been a catalyst for women now taking the level 1 award. It’s evident that this will further develop the workforce, and create role models for future generations”.

Participant Carol Bates: “It was great to have the opportunity to take the FA Level 1 coaching course locally, at Crawley Town FC. As a local youth Club Secretary I usually only get involved with all the paperwork but it certainly gave me a good insight into how much work coaches put in when they coach our children. Having been on the sidelines as a parent for over 10 years it gave me a much greater understanding of planning sessions and what goes into running them. It’s given me a great deal of information to take on board and now I’m helping run a new U11s girls’ team, for our club Crawley United, I’ll be putting it into practice too!”

Maria Iula Harris commented: “I joined COGS just over a year ago for a bit of fun with some friends. Little did I realise that Thursday nights would become my favourite night of the week where I would get to don my football boots! Then, after only a year, I as so inspired that I decided to become a Level 1 football coach, which I passed successfully. I will be looking to start an U8 girls football team in September. I thank my lucky stars that I was given the opportunity to join a team like COGS and now I ill hopefully be inspiring young girls to take up the great game of football.”

The grant of £2000 from Crawley Town FC and the FA Community Shield Fund, allowed six young people as part of the Crawley Town Scholarship Fund to complete the FA Level 1 Award in Coaching at the Checkatrade.com Stadium. Delivered by Sussex County FA, attendees worked on various different modules to prepare them for coaching activity with the Community Foundation.

Scunthorpe United Clinch National Finals Title

The National Finals continued last week, and it was the turn of the boys from League 2 as all 16 teams journeyed to the International Futsal Arena in Birmingham.

The teams were split in to four groups of four teams, each team playing three matches with the top two teams qualifying for the knockout stages.

In Group A Southampton toped the group and were unbeaten with 9 points, in second place were Norwich with 6 points while Bradford City and Huddersfield Town finished the group with 3 and 0 points respectively.

In Group B Grimsby Town were also unbeaten finishing on 7 points after a draw earlier in the group, Shrewsbury finished second in a close group on 5 points with Brentford missing out by just 1 point finishing on 4 points ahead of Mansfield on 0 points.

In Group C Reading were dominant and finished the group with maximum points, conceding just two goals. Notts County finished second on 4 points while Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers finished on 2 and 1 points respectively.

In Group D Scunny topped the group with 9 points while Plymouth Argyle made it through on 4 points, beating Cardiff City who finished on 3 points and Newport County on 1 point to complete the group stage.

The Quarter Finals started with Southampton v Shrewsbury Town, in a tight match the Shrews came through victorious while in the second Quarter Final Reading beat Plymouth Argyle to book their spot.

The Iron kept up their unbeaten streak for the day beating Notts County, while in the closest match of the knockout stages and The Canaries went all the way to penalties, the Mariners coming through in sudden death.

scun united futsal 2

On to the Semi Finals and Scunthorpe were again dominant in the North East clash beating Grimsby to book their place in the final while it was Shrewsbury Town who made it through in the other Semi beating Reading.

On to the Final and a first for Shrewsbury, the match was a fast paced affair with both teams attacking from the start but it was Scunny who gained an early lead before seeing the match out 5 – 2 to become Champions of the League 2 National Finals.

Kinder + Sport Kids Cup Finals at Wembley

The Kinder + Sport Kids Cups on the hallowed Wembley turf saw a Wimbledon double bill, the best goal of the playoff weekend and the dreams of 48 children come true. Prior to making it to Wembley, all those that took part had to go through a number of qualifying stages to represent their local teams.

In the League 1 final, Norton Free Primary School representing Sheffield United, met Eye Primary School representing Peterborough United, and following a dominant display ran out 1-0 victory! Mackenzie Maltby scored an absolute screamer of a goal… arguably the best of the Play-Off weekend! Although the Norton players saw a lot of the ball in the first half they were unable to take their chances, with Ben Kemp, Danny Church and Bradley Taylor all going close. The winning goal came in the 2nd half when a throw from Frankie Hirst found Danny Church, who passed it onto Mackenzie Maltby who struck a first time shot from 20 yards into the top right corner. It was a goal worthy of winning any game at any level and the full time whistle brought amazing celebrations amongst the Norton Free players.

Represented by Hilton Primary School, Derby County were crowned as the champions of the Kinder+ Sport Football League Kids Cup at Wembley Stadium, winning 2-0 over Ipswich Town represented by Britannia Primary School! Captain Kaide Gordon opened the scoring with a fine long-range effort in the first half before he turned provider for Jack Harrison in the second period.

Cleves School represented AFC Wimbledon in the League 2 finals, taking on Mansfield Town represented by Samuel Barlow Primary School. Wimbledon dominated most of the game claiming a 2-0 victory, despite an uneventful first half with Mansfield captain Aidan Reader taking a long-range free-kick, and Vigrass also seeing his effort steer narrowly wide of the post. Dons turned on the style in the second half, and went ahead through Munroe after he planted his shot into the bottom-left corner. Vigrass followed it up with a similar strike, rounding three Stags players before also finding the bottom corner of the net, ensuring AFC Wimbledon’s name was etched onto the Kinder+Sport Kids Cup trophy.
kids cup- AFC wimbledon

kids cup- afc wimbledon

Brentford FC Over 25’s Ladies Take Part in Charity Football Tournament

Brentford FC’s New Year, New You session started in partnership with Middlesex FA at the beginning of February targeted women over 25 to get involved in football. The session is held at West Ealing Bowls & Social Club on Monday evenings 7-8pm and has engaged over 20 women in the 12 weeks it has been running! It is a very social session where no previous experience or ability is necessary, just a fun environment to learn and play the game.

On Sunday 24th April, the ladies entered a charity tournament, for some it would be their first ever competitive match in football. Brentford Women’s FC club captain, Charlotte Tanner has been supporting the session by regularly attending the Monday evening session and was also with the ladies for the tournament. Charlotte spoke to us about the day.

“When Maria asked the ladies to play in a tournament for charity, all the ladies got really excited! She explained it would be against other women teams. ‘I’m not playing against men’ I remember her saying!”

“On the lead up to the tournament the question was shall we enter one or two teams. Lots of ladies who had joined the sessions over the last 3 months were very keen, so two teams it was; Buzzette’s and Queen Bees!”

“We all arrived at Osterley Goals on Sunday 24TH April, wearing the Brentford FC kit which made the ladies even more excited!”

“When the organiser was going through the rules I looked around and there were all male teams, two mixed teams and us! Some of the ladies were nervous as this was their first ever competitive game of football, having never kicked a ball before February but the ladies got straight involved and had a great time, all in aid for charity.”

“Over the course of the day we played around 10 matches. We stuck together as a group and the ladies showed their skills and team work with the guidance from Lorna, Brentford FC CST coach who has worked hard in explaining and teaching the game to all the ladies.”

“We managed to draw two games and win one! It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all the ladies and everyone had a brilliant day out. Here is what’s some of them had to say about it,

Janae Pine, “It was a challenging tournament but we managed to match and beat some of our opponents, I enjoyed every second!”

Sharlene Brown, “It was great fun! Fair play to us for not doing a U-turn when we realised there were no other women! Nice family atmosphere as well.”

Maria Diaper, having never played football before has really supported the session and helped recruit a number of ladies said, “It was fun and enjoyable! We have come so far since we started training, and we have recruited a new player out of playing in the tournament today!”

Charlotte summarised the day and told us more about the FREE session on Monday evening, “It was a great day to show others that women can play football and have so much fun whilst playing!”

“When I go down to the session on a Monday evening, I know I’m going to have a good time. All the ladies are really nice and we have a great time learning about the game I love so much. It’s great to see women coming down with hardly any experience enjoying the sessions and finding and new way to keep fit!”

Wimbledon Double Bill at Wembley!

There will be a Wimbledon double bill at Wembley this weekend when the boys from Cleves School compete in the Kinder +Sport Football League Kids Cup at Wembley, leading the way for the first team who will then compete in the play-off finals against Plymouth for a place in league 1!

Joe Roberts, AFC Wimbledon Foundation’s Sports Development Manager, said: “We are proud that Cleves School have earned the opportunity to represent the club at Wembley and it’s even better that the first-team will be bidding for promotion on the same day. The performances from Cleves School’s footballers and their behaviour off the pitch has been a real credit to them and the football club. Let’s hope for a double on the day!”

Here is a special message from the boys at Cleves School, wishing The Dons good luck! This is followed by Ade Akifenwa, Lyle Taylor and the rest of the team returning the well wishes and giving a special shout out to all of the team:

 

 

New National Sport Strategy Tackles Inactivity

The Football League Trust is backing Sport England’s new Strategy for the future of sport that was released this week.

As well as continuing to support people who already play sport, there will be a much greater emphasis on groups who are typically much less active such as women, disabled people and those from lower-socio-economic backgrounds. 1487811_871411929554348_345700788928764935_o

Mike Evans, Director of Operations at the Football League Trust, comments, “The new strategy places a much stronger emphasis on the benefits that taking part in sport can bring, such as improving both physical and mental health, social cohesion and reducing crime. This is an approach that 72 Football League Community Trusts in our network have been taking with considerable success for a numerous years.  For example our Female Football Development programme, is very much about getting inactive women and girls from all backgrounds involved in sport with the focus firmly on fun and fitness.”

Arsenal and England women’s footballer Jordan Nobbs visits the Checkatrade.com Stadium Ball Court on Monday to promote the Crawley old girls (COGS) initiative. COGS is aimed at older ladies who have an interest in football and was set up through the Crawley Town Community foundation with funding from the Football League Trust Female Football Development scheme. James Boardman / TELEPHOTO IMAGES 07967642437

Sport England will spend £250 million to combat inactivity as part of five-year strategy which also include dedicated funding to get children and young people active from the age of five, Mike continues. “Because football clubs are in the heart of their communities they are very effective at getting young people active. Our Trusts an incredible amount of work in schools already with programmes such as Kinder+Sport Move and Learn are getting children active as well as teaching them the benefits of healthy eating.” 32

More about the strategy

The strategy will help deliver against the six health, social and economic outcomes set out in the Government’s Sporting Future strategy.

Key features of the new strategy are:   

  • Dedicated funding to get children and young people active from the age of five, including a new fund for family based activities and offering training to at least two teachers in every secondary school in England to help them better meet the needs of all children, irrespective of their level of sporting ability
  • Working with the sport sector to put customers at the heart of everything they do, and using the principles of behaviour change to inform their work
  • Piloting new ways of working locally by investing in up to 10 places in England – a mix of urban and rural areas
  • Investing up to £30m in a new volunteering strategy, enabling more people to get the benefits of volunteering and attracting a new, more diverse range of volunteers
  • Helping sport keep pace with the digital expectations of customers – making it as easy to book a badminton court as a hotel room
  • Working closely with governing bodies of sport and others who support people who already play regularly, to help them become more efficient, sustainable and diversify their sources of funding.

Read the new strategy Towards an Active Nation.