Here at The New Saints FC Foundation Ltd, writes Gill Jones, our aims are to make sport and physical activity available and accessible to all regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, ability or background, with a view to improving health and social wellbeing.
Therefore International Womens’ Day on Thursday 8th March is one of many important dates in our diary in that it places a focus on the types of activities we offer which help (in this case) girls and young women to gain the confidence and skills which will help them not only to challenge stereotypes and bias as they progress through life, but also hopefully influence others’ beliefs/actions.
Here are just a few examples of ways in which we are offering such opportunities:
Girls Club1 – girls only after-school clubs at The Marches and St Martins 3-16 Schools which aim to give girls opportunities to try out different ‘solo’ activities, with the aim of developing their confidence to access community based facilities outside of school.
Girls Club 1 Gym – a supervised, Thursday night gym club specifically for girls aged 14 years+ – activities are shaped by the girls attending and are a great way for them to gain confidence and skills whilst accessing community gym facilities in a safe environment. For more information about Girls Club1 contact email@example.com
Already through our Girls Club1 activities, we’ve seen a fantastic growth in the confidence of girls who attend, and many now feel confident enough to try out other activities at The Venue, or to take a lead in the activities they are doing.
Girls football development is a massive growth area for us this year:
- Cics Cymru – we’re being supported by the FAW Trust to set up three girls ‘football hubs’ in Welshpool, Llanfyllin and Rhiwabon. There is currently no girls football provision in these areas, and the idea of the hubs is for girls to ‘have a go’ at football, and perhaps realise their ambitions to play football either just for fun, or more seriously to succeed in the developing girls football scene, and challenge the male stereotyping associated with so much of the game. Offering a wide range of incentives, and supporting other initiatives such as ‘This Girl Can’ and ‘Us Girls’ the football hubs will provide regular football sessions in each area for girls aged 12 years+, delivered by our team of professional football coaches.
- SSE Wildcats – as from early May, The Venue at Park Hall will be an SSE Wildcats Centre – supported by the English FA, SSE Wildcats provides an introduction to girls football for primary aged girls – we’re very excited to be hosting this, and look forward to being a centre of girls football skills development as the project moves forward. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
So, already we think we’re playing our part in developing female role models who can be a positive force in society – we look forward to developing this even further as we enhance the activities we have on offer.
The photographs in this article are from the Girls Club 1. There are more here.