Bit by bit, perceptions around women’s and girls’ football is changing, centred around a host of positive campaigns increasing awareness and opportunities to play. Girls’ Football Week (23-29 April) is a national campaign aimed at getting as many girls as possible playing our national game.

Girls’ Football Week first took place in 2014, when 2,000 people took part across 80 different sessions. Last year, 60,000 girls got involved in 1,400 sessions and this year’s week promises to be even bigger.

Football, other activities and Disney discount

It’s a great opportunity for girls to get active, play lots of football and make new friends. The FA have teamed up with Disney to inject some new elements into the week, and as part of the range of football events there will also be some fun activities and games inspired by well-loved, strong Disney female characters from Zootropolis, Tangled and Moana. And everyone who signs up will get access to three Disney-inspired activity plans so you can practise your skills at home. You’ll also get a certificate for attending and a 20 per cent discount voucher to use in Disney stores.

Clubs reap the rewards too

Matt Wright is boss at Chichester City FC, a club that has reaped the rewards of Girls’ Football Week. Wright took over at the West Sussex club over a decade ago and has been involved in Girls’ Football Week every year since its inception.

Things like Girls’ Football Week are great. It really is a great way to get involved in the game. I know a number of girls who only started playing the game during Girls’ Football Week and now they play week in, week out. As a club, we have supported Girls’ Football Week since day one and we will always run events for it. And that has helped Chichester develop from having one female team towards the bottom of the pyramid to The FA Women’s Premier League with eight or nine youth teams coming up behind them. If any club or person has an opportunity to help and promote the female game I would absolutely urge them to do so. We have got to get more girls in the game at grassroots level, so why not give them a taste during Girls’ Football Week? Hopefully they will enjoy it and will keep on playing. We have all got to start somewhere. Matt Wright, Chichester City FC

Girls’ Football Week takes place between 23-29 April and we’d urge girls with an interest in football to go along, and we’d especially urge existing grassroots football clubs to get involved to host an event.

Players: To take part in Girls’ Football Week visit TheFA.com/GirlsFootballWeek

Organisers: To host an event for Girls’ Football Week visit FAGirlsFootballWeek.com

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