19 June 2014

Thursday 19 June

The final London FA Goals for Girls Festival of the season took place on Saturday 14 June at Kennington Park astro turf pitch in partnership with London Youth and Lambeth Sports Development team. The festival was open for any organisations to enter such as schools, clubs, youth clubs and even individuals who may be looking to find a team.

For many of the teams this was their first experience of playing football in this type of environment and for some it was even their first ever football match. The weather held out for the morning and there was a lot of support from the side-lines which made a great atmosphere.  Two age groups were participating, U11’s & U13’s and there were 14 teams taking part, which totalled over 100 girls in attendance.

As an addition to the day we were fortunate to have two Millwall Lionesses players, Angela Kiobel and Shirvae Edwards, come along to meet with the girls, sign autographs and have photographs taken.

The morning was a great example of how we can bring girls together to get plenty of match time in a fun and relaxed environment without needing to keep scores and have winners.  Events like this are a great opportunity for newly formed teams, schools, youth clubs and grassroots clubs to come together and give girls’ the chance to play football. Another benefit of these festivals is for clubs to help with recruiting new players through links that they can make with the local school teams that enter.

John Jones, Sports Development Officer, London Youth comments ‘’London Youth has been delighted to work in partnership with the London FA to enable girls and young women to access football opportunities through their youth clubs. After a successful female only FA Level One course in February 2014, it was great to see the teams, guided by their coaches, take part in the Goals for Girls Festival on Saturday 14 June at Kennington Park. To have 100+ girls for the first Central London festival was very positive and we look forward to supporting the delivery of the event again in 2014/2015.’’

As well as the girls having a great morning of football and benefiting from the flexible format, it was also an opportunity for female officials to gain some invaluable experience by officiating the matches.

Emma Barnes, Women’s & Girls’ Football Development Officer, London FA says‘’ Today has been fantastic and the turnout has exceeded all expectations. The girls have all played with a smile on their face and shown how girls’ football is going from strength to strength in London. By working in partnership with London Youth and having the Millwall Lionesses players we have been able to engage and inspire a number of young girls and hope that they will be motivated to continue playing football.’’

This seasons Goals for Girls Festivals have now come to an end but they will be starting up again in September. We will be running a World Cup themed Festival in Wandsworth for U8U10 teams on Saturday 19 July,  If you are interested in entering a team into this festival or one of the Goals for Girls Festivals next season please contact: emma.barnes@londonfa.com or 07921 050375