Foundation supports Girls Football Week

The Foundation and West Ham United Ladies were out to show their support for the FA’s Girls Football Week campaign at Beckton.

Launched back in 2012, the initiative seeks to encourage participation in girl’s football, particularly among schools and universities.

With the Foundation’s Beckton site playing host to a 6-a-side tournament for girls from local schools, members of the Ladies team were on hand to offer advice to the potential stars of tomorrow.

West Ham Ladies goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan spoke about the benefits of encouraging young girls to play football and how the FA is making positive steps to ensure more young girls are playing.

 “It’s a wonderful sport, you get to meet a lot of people and your personality develops. I’ve seen my personality change since playing football. I’ve become a more outgoing person and you become much more confident, as well as staying physically fit. I think all these factors are important for women.

“The FA is investing a lot of time and money into women’s football over the last seven or eight years and the results are really starting to show."

With the Foundation continuously working towards increasing participation among young girls, Senior Community Sports Officer Sham Motin, was delighted with the FA backed campaign.

“Today is part of our wider Women and Girls sessions and we’re pleased to be able to run this 6-a-side tournament to help celebrate the FA’s Girls Football Week initiative. Having the West Ham Ladies down to support some of these girls and talk to them about how they can progress within the game is fantastic.

“For us it’s about making sure the girls are having fun so that they want to come back every week. If you can make the sessions fun, structured and maintain a competitive element too, you really see the girls start to enjoy themselves. Having the opportunity to wear a West Ham kit gives them someone to play for and a sense of belonging, as not many of them have a team to play for on the weekend.”

Anna, a participant from local school Brampton Primary, spoke about what football meant to her.

“I’ve been playing since I was about eight years old. Football is a great way for me to express my emotions, especially when I’m angry! One day it’d be my dream to play for the West Ham Ladies. Today’s been challenging but we’ve really enjoyed ourselves!”

In 2014, more than 2,000 people took part in the Girls Football Week sessions across 80 institutions. It is aimed that this year, 16,000 girls and women will play football during the campaign.