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- 26 November 2013 00:00
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The FA, Sport England, the Premier League and The Football League have joined forces to give more women and girls the opportunity to take part in grassroots football sessions through a new initiative.
The FA Women and Girls programme will see a £2.4 million investment over the next two years from Sport England with Premier League and Football League clubs delivering season-long coaching programmes to over 40,000 new female players between the age of 14 and 25-years-old.
The programme marks the first time that The FA, Premier League and The Football League have worked together to deliver a grassroots women’s football programme.
A total of 88 clubs trusts across the country will work in tandem with county FAs, schools, colleges and universities to deliver the sessions through Level 2 qualified coaches.
"It’s fantastic that The FA are working with the Premier League and the Football League.,” said The FA Director of National Game and Women’s Football Kelly Simmons.
"Obviously these clubs have got a great history of supporting their women’s teams and have done so much to develop the game, but this is really about increasing participation."
The programme aims to help increase participation figures for women’s football and enable the sport to become the second largest team sport in the country behind men’s football.
This is a key objective of The FA’s 'Game Changer' strategy, which was their five-year plan launched in October 2012.
"This is a powerful initiative in which we are pleased to be investing in alongside the football authorities,” said Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price.
"The new programme will not only give many more young women the opportunity to try football, but also receive coaching tailored to their specific needs."
The investment comes after Sport England’s Active People Survey results revealed that women are less likely to participate in sport than men.
In a bid to narrow the gap, Sport England is working with the sports and other partners to break down the barriers that women face and encourage more women to play sport.
Minister for Sport Helen Grant has welcomed the new programme.
"This is great news for women’s football at the grassroots level,” said Grant.
"The Premier League and Football League clubs pull in the community combined with qualified coaches from The FA will make this a great success and get many more young women playing the game.”