From the grassroots to elite level The Football League Trust’s Female Football Development programme is benefiting the whole of the Women’s game, a report reveals this week.
Over 30,000 Women and girls were successfully engaged in the first two years of the FFD programme and an interim report into the first few months of year three shows the project going from strength to strength. A further 5,600 women and girls have been engaged so far and impressively 85% have been retained within the game.
Nicol Meredith, The Football League Trust’s Women and Girls Development Officer comments, “Although the programme, which focuses on fun, friends and fitness, is about grassroots development and the many benefits of playing sport, FFD is also is also helping bring players into the higher levels of the game. 15% of participants have now moved into affiliated club football including some who are already with WSL clubs. For example Gabby was initially engaged in Brentford’s FFD programme, the sessions gave her the opportunity to get involved with football again after dropping out at a younger age. Gabby recently went for trials to play for Millwall Lionesses (WSL2) and now plays in their U19 team.”
Nicol, continues, “The option of moving on to a play the game at a higher is there if the girls want to take it, however that’s one of many options available once the initial 10 weeks programme has finished. Many Girls prefer to play the game on a more informal basis and we’ve seen 37% go into recreational football activity.