GIRLS FOOTBALL: Festival fun as St Ives event proves a huge success

Players and mascots enjoyed the FA Girls Football Festival fun. Picture: HUNTS FA

Players and mascots enjoyed the FA Girls Football Festival fun. Picture: HUNTS FA - Credit: Archant

More than 200 girls descended on St Ives last Thursday to take part in the final FA Girls’ Football Festival of 2017.

Primary and secondary schools from across the area were involved in an event laid on by the Hunts FA and Cambs FA at the One Leisure Outdoor Complex.

The event fell in FA Girls’ Football Week – an initiative aimed at driving up numbers in the fast-growing female game.

Girls aged between five and 16 were invited to test their skills in a host of fun-based activities and mini matches.

There were plenty of other attractions such as top freestyler Charlotte Lade Rogers, who showed off her tricks, and mascots from a host of major clubs, including Arsenal Women, Peterborough United and Cambridge United.

Arsenal Women, who operate a player development centre in St Ives, also dished out free tickets to a FA Women’s Superleague match.

The objective of these events is to create lively football opportunities that are informative and engaging for girls, to drive participation, and increase awareness of the female game,” said Andy Coles, the Hunts FA football development officer.

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“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Arsenal Women, Peterborough United, Cambridge United, Norwich City and One Leisure for providing their mascots and staff on the day.

“I’m also grateful to all of the young leaders from St Ivo School and volunteers who put so much effort into making the festival a huge success ensuring it ran smoothly and that the girls had a great day.”

The Football Association aim is to double the number of girls regularly playing football by 2020. The St Ives event was the last of 17 FA Girls’ Football Festivals held across the country during 2017.