“FA breaking down barriers detrimental to the women game”

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Women’s football at grassroots level in England has seen a 54% increase in participation figures since 2016, which ultimately confirms that the Football Association (FA) has reached its target to double participation in women’s football.

The governing body’s Gameplan for Growth strategy was launched in March 2017 to double participation in three years.

According to Telegraph Sport, there are now 3.4 million women and girls playing football in England, with 9,251 competitive female teams and 88 Community Club Organisations providing opportunities for 55,800 women and girls, according to the latest figures from the Football Association.

“Change had to be sustainable, breaking down barriers to encourage new women and girls to play football, whilst retaining and valuing the thousands of existing participants,” – Louise Gear, the FA’s head of women’s football development.

“Creating innovative programmes that match women and girls’ motivations to play has been a game changer, ensuring we have flexibility for football to be played for competition, fun, excellence or to learn.”

Earlier this year, the FA launched its first Women and Girls Officer Programme, providing professional development to specialists from grassroots football. Over 143 community clubs have received ‘female-friendly’ club training.

“Building a diverse workforce of enablers to grow the game and create female friendly environments has been vital,” added Gear.

“Our plan has needed us to not only build an infrastructure but to increase the profile, changing perceptions and breaking down the historical barriers that have been detrimental to the women and girls’ game.

“Avoiding clumsy stereotypes, we have presented the game in a way that it appeals to the female audience. We have worked to encourage the ‘see it, play it’ mantra across all age groups and formats of the game,” concluded Gear.

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By Telegraph

Edited by Tokelo Martin Mokhesi

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