16 September 2021
In one of the early pledges made in Women in Football's #GetOnside campaign, the Football Association has set out plans to dramatically improve the landscape for girls playing football in England.
The FA's eye-catching pledge will support 1,000 clubs in their provision for girls aged 10 to 16, meaning vastly enhanced opportunities to play the game – not just now but for generations to follow.
It follows an earlier pledge by England's governing body during Women in Football's #WhatIf campaign, which laid the foundations for the progress now being made with #GetOnside.
Kelly Simmons OBE, the FA's Women's Professional Game Director, said the new infrastructure and network would mean a "structured and sustainable" transformation for girls' football in England.
"These clubs will be fully embedded within the England Football Accredited Club programme to ensure delivery is of the highest standard and the experiences these girls have set them up for a lifelong love of the game," she said.
"This is a natural progression for our previous pledge enabling all girls in schools to have the opportunity to play football. Having introduced the girls to football, it's vital there are local, regular high-quality playing opportunities in all communities across England."
The #GetOnside pledge is the newest expression of support in a broader ongoing relationship between the FA and WIF, as the governing body looks to a future where women and men enjoy the same opportunities in football.
Kelly explained: "The FA is delighted to partner with Women in Football on this campaign. The FA is committed to working with WIF to help drive an inclusive industry and one that is free from discrimination. We were delighted to be part of the initial #WhatIf campaign and wanted to support WIF with #Getonside and its work to promote women in the industry."
So what is it that Kelly and her colleagues at the FA are most looking forward to about the results? "Ensuring that girls have the same opportunities as boys to play and enjoy football and all its associated benefits."
As the pledge is fulfilled, those girls could number hundreds of thousands. Every #GetOnside action will make a positive impact – and this is as big as they come.
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