Girls’ football is growing in South Yorkshire with the formation of 15 new teams.
Ten junior football clubs in South Yorkshire netted a funding boost of £1,000 to help launch new girls’ teams.
The funding came from the Women’s Euros Legacy New Team Grant, a joint initiative by Sport England and the Football Association in a push to get girls’ teams going following this year’s record-breaking Women’s EUROs.
Grassroots teams in the Sheffield and Hallamshire region have seen a significant increase in the number of girls signing up to play following the Lionesses’ historic victory. The grant has enabled clubs to cover essential costs such as kit and equipment, facility hire, referee fees, league entry and much more.
Laughton Junior Football Club were one of the clubs to be awarded the grant. They now have 36 girls playing football and used the money to buy new kit and training coats, as well as pay for a better winter training facility.
Many of the clubs involved said how the grant helped take the financial pressure off the club in the current economic climate. Increasing costs of pitches, kit and training venues, along with and a fall in parents’ budgets, means this funding allows clubs to focus on football rather than raising funds.
Paul Gorner, club secretary for Junior Tykes FC in Barnsley said: “The grant has gone a long way to getting our new under-11s girls’ team off the ground and it’s something we don’t need to stress about regarding trying to find money to buy kits and other equipment.”
Some clubs, like Aston Swallownest Junior Football Club, have always promoted female participation. But the grant has meant they have been able to increase the number of football opportunities they provide to girls with the launch of two new teams.
For Maltby Main Junior FC, they have been overwhelmed with the rising number of girls looking to join the club. Club secretary, Richard Mann said: “We honestly did not believe the reaction from the girls. We thought that, with neighbouring teams having already established girls’ teams, we would struggle to find enough girls wanting to play. But the response has been amazing. The funding made the start-up of the team so much quicker than us trying to fundraise in our little village.”
Molly Johnson, Youth Football Development Officer at the Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA, said: “It is fantastic to see the impact that this funding is having locally, providing girls with equal access to playing football at their local clubs.”
For more information on how to get involved in girls’ football, visit www.sheffieldfa.com