Spartans celebrate Women’s Sport Week with Girls Football Festival
Up to 300 local schoolgirls are set to take part in Spartans Community Football Academy’s Girls Football Festival tomorrow at Spartans’ Ainslie Park home.
Forming part of National Women’s Sport Week, which aims to boost women’s participation in sport across all levels and age groups, the festival will bring together girls between the age of 6 and 8 from six North Edinburgh Primary Schools. The aim is to offer participants the opportunity to enjoy football in a fun and supportive environment as well as boosting grassroots participation in women’s football in Scotland.
As well as boosting participation in the game, the festival also aims to help bring about positive change in the players lives by providing female role models, helping develop confidence, and becoming physically active.
World Duathlon and Triathlon Champion Catriona Morrison, now Business Development Manager at Spartans Charity Football Academy, is the driver behind this year’s events. She said: ” We are excited to be welcoming 300 girls from local schools to The Academy for our girls football festival.
“We have a whole morning of football fun and games lined up. The idea is to introduce as many girls as we can to our national game and we’ve got some great role models and coaches from women’s teams including Spartans and Edinburgh University volunteering on the day.
“A recent UEFA study highlighted that confidence was one of the major benefits derived by teenage girls through playing football. In our view the important stage of involvement and development in sport takes place at grassroots level between the ages of 5-12 and it is for this reason that we are welcoming girls from local Primary Schools to our tournament.”
Women’s and girls football is one of the fastest growing sports globally with almost 8,500 players registered in Scotland. The national women’s team have qualified for their first major tournament, the European Championships, which start in Holland on July 16th, and there are almost 250 clubs registered across Scotland including Spartans who play in the Scottish Women’s Premier League 1 and run girls teams from U/9 years old.
Nichola Sturrock, Spartans Academy Women’s and Girls Development Officer, said there has never been a better time for girls to start playing football.
“This is a really exciting time for girls to get involved in football, and coming as it does, during Women’s Sport Week, we feel confident that through the girls football festival that we will create a fantastic platform for increased participation in not just the sport itself but also in the wider activities that The Academy offers the local community.”
The Spartans Community Football Academy encourages young people to take part in physical activity – helping to improve their health, make friends and develop their social skills in a supportive and safe environment.
Supported by local business, charitable donations and fundraising activities it works with around 3000 children per year from the local community.
This year’s events are supported by Hanya Partners, Fish is the Dish and Morrisons Granton with each participant receiving a sports t-shirt, bag, fruit and advice on how to maintain a healthy diet.