As the Lionesses step off the plane fresh from the FIFA Women’s World Cup with pride, a training camp is underway to support the next generation of female football volunteers and coaches, giving more girls the chance to find their place in the game.
Around 100 girls aged 12 to 15 from across the country have attended the second Girls’ Football Youth Leadership Camp after it launched last year. The camp, delivered by children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust in partnership with The FA, is a three-day residential experience for girls who have started their volunteering and leadership journey through the Game of Our Own programme.
It is being held at Loughborough University from Friday 12 July to Sunday 14 July with a day trip to St George’s Park.
Faye White, who played 90 times for the England Women’s Senior team, said:
“We are experiencing an exhilarating summer of women’s sport across football, cricket, rugby, tennis, netball, hockey and athletics. It’s something to be proud of and this camp is a great way to encourage girls throughout the country to not only get involved in football, but crucially to have the confidence and skills they need to inspire others.
“It’s vital that we inspire the next generation of female footballers, leaders and coaches and build confidence for life through football. We need to enable girls to lead change in their own schools and communities.”
The camp is designed to support two of The FA’s key objectives of female leadership and workforce development as cited in its Women’s Football, Inclusion, Diversity and Equality plan and The FA Women’s Football Participation plan.
At this year’s camp, the girls will take part in workshops led by the Youth Sport Trust and FA tutors, and by Lioness Legends themed on creativity, inspiration and innovation, all of which have been designed to accelerate the girls’ leadership learning.
Research from the first Girls’ Football Youth Leadership Camp in 2018 carried out by the Youth Sport Trust saw 99% of girls leave feeling inspired and motivated to improve girls’ football in their school. 70% of girls surveyed responded to say that to a great extent they had gained new knowledge related to coaching girls’ football. A longitudinal follow up survey of girls who attended the camp found that since the event, of those that responded to the survey, 96% had increased their levels of leadership and 91% had increased their level of volunteering.
Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:
“The Lionesses and their values have shone brightly throughout the 2019 World Cup. They’ve served us all proud and truly inspired a nation.
“This camp is about finding and empowering the next generation of women and girls’ football coaches, igniting their passion and helping them find their place in the game to support its continued growth across the UK. This will be an important step towards giving thousands of girls more opportunities and I can’t wait to see how the girls grow throughout the weekend to find their passion."
After the camp, the girls will be tasked with creating a club or event for their school and community in July 2020 linked to supporting women’s football and Team GB at the Tokyo Olympic Games.