19 March 2019
Equal Focus Football - an initiative set up by Charlton Athletic midfielder Amber-Keegan Stobbs
FA Women’s Championship midfielder Amber-Keegan Stobbs doesn't just believe that women and girls should have an equal opportunity to play football - she is actively doing something about it.
Amber, who plays for Charlton Athletic, has set up her own company, Equal Focus Football, working with females of all abilities aged five-years and upwards, with the aim of providing an opportunity to play the beautiful game.
Equal Focus Football was iniitially set up during the summer of 2018 with Amber running camps in Essex for girls aged 6-16yrs. This year she has plans to run camps in other local communities to get as many females involved as possible. The camps incorporate training sessions to work on technical ability, while also building confidence and teaching girls about the benefits of teamwork,
Amber's message to the girls on her camps is simple – they are equal and playing football as a female is a positive experience.
Since starting Equal Focus Football, she has engaged with over 150 girls and is looking to use her experience as both a player and coach to encourage more girls to become involved in football, while also giving them an opportunity to enjoy the sport and feel empowered.
“This is more than just about football," said Amber, "This is about supporting young girls to get involved in sport and maintain that participation.
"It is about creating opportunities for all abilities – from the girl at her first ever football session to the girl who wants to improve her existing technical ability.
“I want to give these girls positive experiences that I didn’t have growing up. I had to play with boys, which wasn’t a big problem for me, but I was the only girl in my league and was subjected to negative comments from other players and also their parents.
"Luckily I had the support and mentality to keep going, but for some, the impact of this negativity can mean they disengage with sport altogether. I had friends and teammates who dropped out because of the image that football wasn’t for girls. It makes me sad to consider how many girls have never given football a try because of the same ideas, so that’s why I’m doing something about it.
“There is a lot of work to be done at the grassroots level of football. I have lived it myself and I want to use that experience to create a positive image and potentially provide girls with a pathway into the women’s game.”
To discover more about Equal Focus Football and find out when and where the next camps and sessions are due to be run, visit the website www.equalfocusfootball.com.
For more information on Equal Focus Football email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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