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FA launch anniversary celebrations
 Women's Football News 18 Jan 2013
 
FA150 was officially launched on Wednesday 16th January and the message was clear that women's football will play a central role throughout the year.
 
The event featured some of the greatest names in football history coming together to pay tribute to the beautiful game which was broadcast live by Sky Sports News and presented by Hayley McQueen and Simon Thomas.
 
During the launch, FA Chairman David Bernstein and England Managers past and present were among the big names to take centre stage, while a number of video messages were aired including from England Women's National Coach Hope Powell, currently in La Manga with her squad, former England captain David Beckham and current men's skipper Steven Gerrard.
 
Also attending the launch were women's internationals Karen Carney, Faye White and Marieanne Spacey, a former outstanding international player, now FA Regional Coach Development Manager.
 
Hope Powell explained what a privilege it was to be England Women's National Coach as the FA marks its 150th year and 20 years of running women's football. The former Millwall Lionesses midfielder, herself an international player capped 66 times for her country, said she had been able to live her childhood dream since joining The FA in 1998. She said: "It was an ambition of mine as a young girl to somehow be paid in football and be part of an organisation where I can be part of something great.
 
"The game has come a long way whether in playing opportunities, opportunities to work, coach or referee and the future is bright."
 
As part of the celebrations the FA will mark July 8th as 20 years since The FA took over from the Women's FA in running the game in England.
 
In 1993 there were only 80 girls' teams, no professional players, no development plan and very little funding.
 
Faye White at the FA150 launch highlighted the progress: "Twenty years ago I didn't even know there was an England team as a teenager and now I've read that 1 in 4 girls watched Team GB at the Olympics."
 
Today, with over 253,000 participants every month, women's football is England's fourth biggest team sport - behind men's football, cricket and rugby.
 
2013 promises to be another great year, particularly following the launch of a five-year plan for women's football, called 'Game Changer', in October.
 
A number of commitments have been made to increase participation and performance on and off the pitch throughout the girls' and women's game and make women's football the second biggest participation sport by 2018.
 
The year of celebration and participation will culminate with the FA hosting the UEFA Under-17 Women's Finals tournament in November and December with all eight teams being based at St. Georges Park.
 
The next major event in FA150 will be the inaugural FA England Awards taking place at St Georges Park on Sunday 3rd February. Voting has now closed for England Women's International Player of the Year.

 
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