The FA has launched a new campaign – Let Girls Play - which supports their strategic ambition to give all girls equal access to play football in school by 2024
Backed by Let Girls Play ambassadors Abi aged 17 and Olivia aged 15, along with Barclays’ ambassador Kelly Smith, MBE, the Let Girls Play campaign will inspire and empower communities and schools to want to help make change, unlocking equal opportunities for girls to participate in the sport.
Only 63% of schools currently offer girls’ football in PE lessons. The FA’s ambition as seen in the women’s and girls’ Inspiring Positive Change strategy is to have schools providing equal access to football for girls in PE lessons by 2024, and the #LetGirlsPlay campaign supports this ambition by encouraging people to stop, listen and see how they can make a difference to this current challenge.
The campaign’s website provides inspiring resources to help influence the start of change and allow more girls to feel the mental and physical benefits of exercise through playing football.
As part of the campaign The FA will be working with a group of, young women aged 14-18 all passionate about making a difference for girls who want to play football – our ‘Change Squad’. As long-standing powerful advocates, they will use their voices to help change long-held perceptions around the sport.
The FA’s Director of Women’s Football Baroness Sue Campbell said of the campaign:
“Momentum is building as next summer’s UEFA Women’s EUROs gets ever closer, but we do not want to wait until then to inspire and empower others to help create equal access to playing football at school.”
“Currently, only a third of girls aged 5-18 participate in football every week, and we want to change that. Now is the time to drive a far-reaching ambition to open up the game in every way to girls and the Let Girls Play campaign allows parents and teachers to play a huge role in joining us in this commitment.”
Former England International and Barclays ambassador Kelly Smith, MBE added:
“When Barclays asked me to be part of the #LetGirlsPlay campaign, I couldn’t have been quicker to say yes. The campaign is one that’s very close to my heart and something I am extremely passionate about when it comes to providing equal access to football for young girls.”
“When I started my journey in football, I had no other choice but to play in a local boys’ team and wasn’t offered the opportunity to play football in school during PE lessons. This has progressed hugely over the last few years, and I’m proud to be part of The FA’s #LetGirlsPlay campaign which will really make a difference to the young girls like I was who just want to play football.”
Olivia aged 15 and pioneer for equal access to football for young girls said of the launch:
“I want every girl to have the opportunity to play football, just like boys. I think The FA’s #LetGirlsPlay campaign is a fantastic way to drive the equal access change and allow girls like me to feel supported, encouraged and given confidence to play football at every possible opportunity.”
Hertfordshire FA CEO Karl Lingham says there is a huge opportunity for girls to play in our county:
"Giving girls the enthusiasm to be active and move with confidence is a vital building block in life’s journey. We want girls to have the opportunity to fall in love with our game at a young age. At a practical level, this means embedding football for girls in schools, as part of the PE curriculum and in after-school sessions.
"Once given a taste of the game, many girls will look for further opportunities to play football. Our amazing club network are well positioned to help transition that initial enthusiasm into a lifelong journey, with all of the associated benefits to mental and physical wellbeing that come with being actively involved in sports."
Playing football really does have the power to change young lives for the better. We encourage everyone to get involved and urge their local school to commit to offering girls equal access to the game, taking advantage of the resources offered by this campaign to make their case."
To find out more about the campaign and to see how you can help and make a difference to giving girls equal access to football in schools, follow the link below.
LET GIRLS PLAY