Earlier this week England defender Laura Bassett surprised budding young footballers at Bedford Modern School to launch FA Girls’ Football Week, which takes place between Monday 23 and Sunday 29 April.
The nationwide initiative will give girls aged five to 11 the opportunity to play football, inspired by some iconic Disney characters.
Bassett, who has 61 caps for England and most recently played in Australia for Canberra United, attended a Girls’ Football Week event at the school, where she met girls taking part and joined in with coaching sessions.
Girls’ Football Week aims to inspire girls across all levels of ability to play football and get active, with an added sprinkle of Disney magic and storytelling. A variety of sessions led by FA qualified coaches will take place across the country and provide an introduction to the fundamentals of football, build key social skills and offer fun team-building exercises.
The football resources created by The FA include Disney-inspired drills featuring strong, determined and mould-breaking characters, including Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled, Moana from Disney’s Moana, and Judy Hopps from Disney’s Zootropolis. The drills will feature in the packs being distributed to schools, clubs and homes, aiming to inspire girls of all ages to try football, meet new friends and stay active, as well as to empower girls and build their self-confidence.
As well as getting the chance to play, girls who sign-up to take part will be provided with an official FA and Disney participation certificate and a 20 per cent discount voucher to use in Disney stores.
Laura Bassett said: “Having played football from a young age, it’s great to see just how many opportunities there are now for girls to get involved in the game. I fell in love with football as a little girl and as a huge Disney fan too, I would have absolutely loved the chance to attend these sessions. It’s a brilliant way for girls who perhaps haven’t played football before to step out of their comfort zone and give the game a go. If you know a girl who might be interested make sure she gets down to a session this week.”
Kelly Simmons, FA Participation and Development Director, added: “FA Girls’ Football Week is focused on inspiring a new generation of girls to get active and fall in love with football. Football can offer these girls so much; from sheer enjoyment, to encouraging a healthy lifestyle and making friends. FA Girls’ Football Week is a central part of our plans – via The Gameplan for Growth – to double the number of females playing the game by 2020.”
In addition, Disney and The FA brought to life the stories of three aspiring players from Coalville Town Football Club in a short film, showing how they have taken inspiration on the pitch from bold and adventurous Disney characters. You can watch the video here and for more information and to find a session near you visit www.FAGirlsFootballWeek.com