GILES CELEBRATES GIRLS' FOOTBALL WEEK

Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, and former England international, Rachel Yankey OBE, joined forces in Parliament to show support for The FA’s Girls’ Football Week supported by Disney, Monday 23rd – Sunday 29th April.

Rachel, who represented England 129 times at senior level, joined Giles at an event in Parliament on 24th April, and they were pictured at a parliamentary event held this week to celebrate Girls’ Football Week which aims to inspire girls across all levels of ability to play football and get active.

Sessions delivered by FA approved organisations will introduce the fundamentals of football, build key social skills and offer fun team-building exercises. One of those approved organisations is FC Clacton, which delivers SSE Wildcat football sessions on a weekly basis, either after school or at weekends, and provide a safe environment where girls can try football for the first time. Stephen Andrews, the coordinator of SSE Wildcat sessions at FC Clacton, joined Giles and Rachel for the event in Parliament.

The football resources created by The FA include Disney-inspired drills featuring strong, determined characters, including Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled, Moana from Disney’s Moana, and Judy Hopps from Disney’s Zootropolis. The drills will feature in the packs being distributed to schools, clubs and homes, aiming to inspire girls of all ages to try football, meet new friends and stay active, as well as to empower girls and build their self-confidence.

Girls of all ages are encouraged to sign up to Girls’ Football Week with a variety of sessions on offer. For more information and to find a session near you visit www.FAGirlsFootballWeek.com.

Giles said: “I was delighted to show my support for The FA’s Girls’ Football Week and to hear about the increasing number of opportunities for girls to participate in the sport across the country. As the Patron of FC Clacton, I was pleased to hear how successful their SSE Wildcat sessions have been, and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

Rachel Yankey OBE said: “It was fantastic to be in Westminster to support Girls’ Football Week. It’s a great initiative that introduces girls to football from a young age.  The fun Disney-themed sessions taking place across the country will hopefully inspire the girls to continue to play the game long after the week comes to an end.”

Stephen Andrews of FC Clacton said, “Our club is a long term champion of girls’ football, having a girls-only team before there was a league for them to play in and a ladies’ team for many years. We are delighted that Giles is our club’s patron and pleased to see he is supportive of initiatives such as Girls’ Football Week which help clubs like ours get girls into football.”

Kelly Simmons, FA Participation and Development Director, added:  “Girls’ Football Week is focused on inspiring a new generation of girls to get active and fall in love with football. Football can offer these girls so much; from sheer enjoyment, to encouraging a healthy lifestyle and making friends. Girls’ Football Week is a central part of our plans – via The Gameplan for Growth - to double the number of females playing the game by 2020.”

Read more from FC Clacton here.