Summer of Women's Football
We spoke to our apprentices who are currently on the FA Women's Football Development Apprenticeship programme, what their plans were during the Women's World Cup and their plans to encourage others to start playing.
Hannah Smith, Women’s Football Development Officer Loughborough College
“This year's Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand has sold over 1.5 million tickets and broken numerous attendance records, providing a huge platform to showcase Women's’ football - a platform it deserves.
Here at our college, prior to the tournament kicking off, we used the build-up to try and generate interest and investment. During training sessions, recreational activities and classroom sessions, the World Cup was constantly linked in. The end-of-year sports matches were Women’s World Cup based, with each tutor group representing a team; classroom quizzes had World Cup related questions and Academy team training sessions consisted of their very own mini World Cups! We hoped that by surrounding the students with the World Cup and incorporating it into fun tasks they would become just as excited about the event as we are! With all of the students enjoying their summer, it’s hard to complete any events on-site, so we set up a Women’s World Cup group where students can talk all things about the tournament. After all the games are played and the trophy lifted (fingers crossed by England), we will use the World Cup within our marketing and social media to look to inspire females to get involved in the game - whether that be by coaching, refereeing, playing or volunteering - and uncover a new passion.
So, that’s what we are doing before, during and after this monumental tournament but, in this very moment right now I'm crossing my fingers, touching wood, wishing at 11:11, hunting for four-leaf clovers, looking out for shooting stars and definitely won’t be putting any shoes on a table - anything to spread a little luck to the lionesses!
Come on England!”
Amy Richardson, Women’s Football Development Officer Bede Sixth Form College
"Hi, my name is Amy. In the run-up to the World Cup, I have been coaching groups of girls from local secondary schools. Through this, I have hoped to inspire young girls to stay involved with football and join our college where we promote and deliver many opportunities regarding women's football. As well as this I have supported female students in the college with their refereeing and volunteering – providing opportunities for them to learn and grow but also inspiring young girls to get involved in football.
During the World Cup, I will be coaching at primary school holiday camps where I hope to promote football and provide fun, engaging sessions to young girls and boys following the World Cup theme. I will also be watching as many matches as I can when I am not working and delivering sessions myself.
I know my passion for football will grow due to the inspiring event which is the World Cup. I will continue to deliver football sessions and opportunities to all the young people I work with post-tournament hoping there are more young people wanting to explore the football world once England bring it home!
Come on England!"
Kayleigh Heron, Women’s Football Development Officer at Barking and Dagenham College
"Hi, my name is Kayleigh and here is what I have been doing pre-World Cup and what I expect to be doing during and after the women’s world cup. So far the build-up towards the World Cup has been me coaching football, making sure the girl's Team I coach on Saturdays have been taking part in tournaments/matches as much as possible which they have won 2/3 tournaments!! Overall, it has been about spreading awareness of female coaches and trying to get the girl's team at the college as heavily involved in football as possible. During the World Cup, we have work experience students at the college both male and female and I have been able to deliver football sessions for them during the week which we will be doing a football rounders match with 2 teams (Australia vs Republic of Ireland- just like the group stage game on today 20/07). I will also be playing in football matches with my own team that I play for and of course, be watching/supporting the Lionesses at home! After the world cup, I hope to continue with my passion for football. As the new academic year starts, I will be trying to get women’s football up in the community and getting more girls to play and hopefully celebrating the trophy coming home... and with that all that is left to say is... COME ON ENGLAND!!!!"’
Daisy Stokoe, FA Women's Football Development Officer, Middlesbrough College
"Hi, let's start off by introducing myself. I am Daisy I'm a FA Women's Football Development Officer Apprentice at Middlesbrough College. With the World Cup being upon us now after a long wait, since the success at the Women's Euro's where the lasses brought it home, I have been coaching football sessions to the girl's football academy as well as enrichment sessions in the build up to it starting. By putting these sessions on we have an increase in participants to sessions as at the start of the academic year we had no girls in the college playing football. Whilst I have been running these sessions I have also given the girls extra bits of knowledge and insight on different career paths in the football sector we have now had a few of the girls start doing little bits of coaching and they are currently doing their Introduction to Coaching Football course.
During the World Cup, I have been putting a few posts on our girl's football teams page to remind the girls when the England game is on and get their score predictions. I have also been getting some video footage with the media/marketing team so they can put together a TikTok style video on the World Cup and get some exposure for the college and the girls football academy.
After the World Cup has finished and I start the new academic year at the college for my final year on my apprenticeship I am hoping to use the women's world cup to influence as many girl's as possible to get involved in football and come to the sessions we put on as a college. I am currently planning for the year and I am going to be setting up 'Daily Challenges' where I will set up in an area in the college on a morning and get as many students having a go for a chance to win a prize each week. This is a bid to try and get more girls involved in football and getting them to take part in a daily challenge which, will take anywhere between 30 seconds and a minute to then convincing them to come to a girl's football session and playing for a bit of fun. I also have a lot more plans on increasing the number of female football at the college which is something I am very passionate about and can't wait to see it come together in the new academic year coming.
Come on England!"
Georgia Ferguson, Women's Football Development Officer, Bolton College
"We're loving the tournament so far, especially with the Lionesses winning all of their games and through to the final 16. We partnered with Bolton Wanderers Community Trust to put on a watch party for our Female Elite Development Squad due to start in September 2023. We spent the day cheering on England who beat China 6-1, did a fun goal scorers' competition (with prizes) put on a exciting quiz and finished with some fitness testing at the Eddie Davies Academy. Alongside this I am preparing for our new academic year and planning our football calendar. My plan is to run monthly glow football tournaments within college and get all departments involved, and what better time when all the world is focused on Women's Football.
Good luck Lionesses! Bring it home again!"
Amy Newbold, Women's Football Development Officer
"Before the Women’s World Cup, I was coaching the Telford College Female Football team that compete in the Shropshire FA Post 16 Colleges and Sixth Forms League. In addition to this, I have led Soccercise sessions with students at Shrewsbury College to help increase participation rates in groups who may not have previously wanted to play football in a formal training session. I have also delivered a Stepping over the Side-lines event in Shropshire in line with the England Football Learning initiative at the start of July where most County FAs delivered a similar event to provide coaching specific CPD to females who are already coaching and are looking to start their coaching journey. During the World Cup, I have now started a new series on the Shropshire FA social media pages called ‘Lionesses at home’ This will include weekly videos highlighting the female workforce across the Shropshire Football Community and will showcase the different roles and pathways across the female game. Finally, after the World Cup, I am hoping to link both Telford College and Shrewsbury College students into the local community through working with grassroots clubs and primary/secondary schools once again trying to increase participation rates of female post-16 students across multiple pathways e.g., coaching, playing, refereeing, and volunteering.
Come on England!"