October 12 – The English FA yesterday launched its new campaign – Let Girls Play – to coincide with International Day of the Girl and to force the pace of change in providing girls with equal opportunity to play organised football.
The campaign will support the FA’s strategic ambition to give all girls access to play football in school by 2024, and is designed to inspire and empower communities and schools to make change, create equal opportunities for girls to play football.
Currently only 63% of schools offer girls’ football in physical educations lessons. The FA wants to see this at least boosted to 75% of schools by 2024.
The campaign is launched ahead of the Women’s Euro which will be hosted in England next year.
As part of the campaign the FA will be working with a group of young women aged 14-18 who will use their voices to help change long-held perceptions around the sport. The FA is calling them their ‘Change Squad’.
The FA’s Director of Women’s Football Baroness Sue Campbell said: “Momentum is building as next summer’s UEFA Women’s EUROs gets ever closer, but we do not want to wait until then to inspire and empower others to help create equal access to playing football at school. Currently, only a third of girls aged 5-18 participate in football every week, and we want to change that.”
Former England international Kelly Smith added: “The campaign is one that’s very close to my heart and something I am extremely passionate about when it comes to providing equal access to football for young girls. When I started my journey in football, I had no other choice but to play in a local boys’ team and wasn’t offered the opportunity to play football in school during PE lessons. This has progressed hugely over the last few years, and I’m proud to be part of The FA’s #LetGirlsPlay campaign which will really make a difference to the young girls like I was who just want to play football.”
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