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Women's Football News
Tuesday saw the FA Girls' Football Festival, supported by Continental Tyres, Sport England and UEFA visit Doncaster, Dunam Academy.
More than 170 girls from Primary and Secondary schools from Doncaster, most of them playing for the first time, took part in a free programme led by FA coaches and aimed at encouraging girls to get involved in the game.
They were accompanied by FA Women's Super League (FA WSL) players from Doncaster Rovers Belles, including England International Sue Smith, Irish Internationals Aine O'Gorman and Julie-Ann Russell and Canadians Alyssa Lagonia and Tania Pedron.
The stars of the league made an appearance ahead of their second match of the FA WSL on Sunday 29th April, where they take on Everton Ladies at the Keepmoat Stadium in their first home game (kick off 2pm).
Doncaster Rovers Belles interacted with the girls and a Q & A was held to give the pupils an insight into the life of a professional female footballer. Players signed autographs, had their photos taken with participants, and offered free tickets for the game on Sunday.
Activities included skills and drills, matches inside an inflatable pitch, interactive games (speed cage & batak board), competitions, prizes and goodies for all. Girls also had the chance to pose with the FA WSL trophy.
Gemma Gayle, Women and Girls Development Officer for Sheffield & Hallamshire FA said: "This is fantastic to see these girls of all age groups having a taste of football and to see these smiles on the faces. They now know where they can make that step into football outside school. Lots of girls were given the opportunity to play for the first time, this is a massive success in terms of education of women's football."
Sue Smith of Doncaster Rovers Belles added: "It's important to be there and meet the kids, show support and promote girls football. I'm very much looking forward to Sunday's game and I will be there to cheer my team mates."
Tania Pedron said: "The festival is a great idea and I loved seeing the girls playing football and enjoying themselves. I hope many will come and support us on Sunday, we are vey pleased to invite them. I can't wait for our second WSL game against Everton."
The next event is on Saturday 12th May in Suffolk. For more information please visit: www.TheFA.com/girlsfootball
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