The impact on the women’s game

Active Essex, Ambassadors

The power of football can bring a nation together. Even more powerful, is the England women’s team turning the tides and making history. In awe of the fantastic women’s England football team, we wanted to celebrate the momentous occasion of not only winning 2-1 against Germany in the European Finals, but how the 23-woman squad, and those women before them, have inspired the nation, gripping them through every game, making us proud and showing every young girl across the country, it’s all possible.

Beth Mead, Georgia Stanway, Jill Scott, Mary Earps and Chloe Kelly will all become household names, and what’s expected to now come is the flurry of young girls and women wanting to get back into football or try it out after the inspirational performance over the past few weeks.

Active Essex is proud to have the fantastic Essex FA working to create as many grassroots opportunities to ensure we can get as many girls and women engaged in the sport as possible. It’s important to now capitalise on this moment and support our female residents to get involved, enjoy football and perhaps even become the next Ellen White!

Recently approved, Active Essex will receive funding from The Youth Sports Trust to deliver the Barclays Girls’ Football School Partnerships (BGFSP) in areas not currently delivered in Essex. BGFSP was established to solely focus on ensuring girls in England have equal access to football in schools by 2024. Active Essex will be working closely with the School Games Organisers across the county to ensure there are increased opportunities to deliver girls’ football programmes in PE, supporting teachers in schools with training and resources.

Dawn Emberson, Active Essex Children and Young People Lead, said: “Following the fantastic display, commitment, determination and skills from the England Women’s football team, Active Essex are committed to making a change. 80% of girls show more confident behaviour having played football, yet we know historically the opportunities to access the game haven’t been equal. 76% of men said they played football in PE lessons at school, yet only 19% of women said they had the chance to play. Alongside the School Games Organisers we hope that this work will create a coherent pathway for girls at a local level to grow and develop in and through football.”

Our Find Your Active ambassador Macey plays for Goffs Oak Girls Football Club and begins training with West Ham in September. Like many young girls, inspired by the triumphant performance of the Lionesses, she said: “As a young female footballer, watching the lionesses win the European Championship was amazing. Being able to watch that success, like so many other young female athletes, was really inspirational. I think it goes to show how much hard work and determination really pays off. Women’s football has come such a long way over the last few years and what this team has done is phenomenal. I think this is just the start of fantastic things to come for woman’s football.”

To find your nearest club, or get support in starting your football journey, head to the Essex FA website here.