The Scottish FA has launched dedicated Girls’ Soccer Centres across Scotland, providing a fun environment for young girls to perfect their skills, grow in confidence and fall in love with football.
The Girls’ Soccer Centres aim to leverage the success of the Scotland Women’s National Team (SWNT) to increase participation in football among primary school-aged girls across Scotland.
The SWNT will this summer play at the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 finals in Netherlands, the team’s first ever major finals.
28 Girls’ Soccer Centres are already in place across the six Scottish FA regions, with more expected to be launched in the wake of the SWNT’s participation at UEFA Women’s Euro 2017.
Girls aged from five to twelve participate in the Girls’ Soccer Centres, which are run in partnership with local authorities and clubs to deliver weekly active sessions for girls in a relaxed and friendly environment.
A member of the SWNT has been appointed as an ambassador for the centres within their home region, providing a visible female role model for the participating girls.
The Girls’ Soccer Centres were officially launched on 25 April at Newark Primary School, with SWNT players Joelle Murray and Leanne Ross, ambassadors for the South East and Central Regions respectively, taking part in an active session with the pupils.
The other regions are represented by Kim Little, North Region; Lisa Evans, East Region; Jane Ross, West Region; and Jo Love, South West Region.
Every girl taking part in a Girls’ Soccer Centre will be presented with a Scotland t-shirt bearing the name of their regional ambassador.
The launch of the Centres is part of the Scottish FA’s marketing campaign, “Our Girls, Our Game,” which aims to drive increased participation in football among young girls and in turn build confidence, develop teamwork and promote a healthy and active lifestyle.
In addition to the Girls’ Soccer Centres, family-friendly fan zones will be held in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow to coincide with each Scotland fixture at the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 finals, where Scotland have been drawn in Group D alongside England, Spain and Portugal.
Donald Gillies, Head of Girls’ and Women’s Football at the Scottish FA, said: “The Scottish FA is committed to growing the game in Scotland and the success of the Scotland Women’s National Team in qualifying for their first major finals presents the perfect opportunity to leverage the increased interest in the girls’ and women’s game.
“We don’t want to see a spike in interest during the Euros that gradually fades away. Instead we want to create a lasting legacy of participation among girls, and these Soccer Centres are intended to capture the imagination of girls at a young age so that they develop an enduring love of football.
“The Centres also act as a stepping stone into club football for those girls that possess the talent to take their game to the next level. We’re very excited by the potential these Centres have in growing the girl’s game in Scotland and look forward to seeing an increasing number of girls take their first steps towards enjoying the beautiful game with them.”