Spireites’ community team helps more women and girls play football

GIVING IT A GO -- more and more women and girls are trying out football in Chesterfield,
GIVING IT A GO -- more and more women and girls are trying out football in Chesterfield,

The number of women and girls in Chesterfield who are playing football is increasing, thanks partly to the work of the town’s professional club.

A total of 55 clubs across the country, including Chesterfield, run the Football League Trust’s female development programme, which aims to attract more women and girl players. And over the last year, the Chesterfield FC Community Trust has engaged with more than 180 girls, aged 14 and over, who had never played the game before, which has been hailed a tremendous achievement.

“Keith Jackson, of the community trust, said: “Following on from the Women’s World Cup in Canada, where the England Lionesses were so close to glory, we’ve found that girls in Chesterfield, Bolsover and north-east Derbyshire are a lot more aware of the game and are more willing to give it a go.

“The first step is getting the girls to try the sport, and then we have to retain them with fun and innovative sessions such as Soccercise, which is an exercise class with football.

“We had a fantastic year in 2014/15. Now it’s time to expand on what we’ve achieved and carry on getting more girls involved in football.”

The development programme is funded by the FA and Sport England, and backed by the Premier League as well as the Football League. More than £3.7 million will have been allocated to it by next July. Nationally, 30,000 women and girls have been introduced to football over the last two years, and 97% continue to be involved.