NEWS: Freestyle Bristol launches our new football program Girls Goals

How our new football project Girls Goals aims to increase opportunities to play and diversity in womens’ teams

Words: Delroy Hibbert

Like a lot of people we watched something we have only ever heard about on Sunday, England winning an international cup! The first thing we want to say is well done to our Lionesses.

Our hope is that the Lionesses will act as role models for future generations of girls and young women in this country to support and play football.

Among the accolades, it has been noticed, however, that there are still serious barriers to participation in the female game in terms of provision and opportunities to play. This is true especially within our inner cities and has been said to have resulted in a decline in diversity within the sport in the last decade.

This is something we recognised recently when setting up a football project aimed at girls aged 8-14 in St Pauls and Easton. One of the initial problems we had was finding a female coach to lead the sessions, as it seems they are in short supply in Bristol and most female teams are coached by men. Luckily we were able to find help in the form of Leilah from the Easton Cowgirls and Leah from Avon & Somerset Police.

So far we have held two sessions and are happy to say that we have attracted a group of very enthusiastic girls most of whom are complete beginners but keen to play. So keen, in fact that they wanted to get straight into playing as soon as they arrived!

It’s our hope that we can continue this provision once the initial sessions end in September (watch this space!) as there is a clear demand for them, and even more so after the success of the Lionesses. If this then stimulates some of the girls’ interest in going on to join a regular team and ultimately success with the Bristol Rovers Gas Girls, I will die a happy man! 

Come along and play! If you’d like to sign up in advance please do so here