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Women's Football News
The FA Girls' Football Festival in association with Continental Tyres, visited Thame Utd FC, Oxfordshire, on Saturday 18 May.
More than 300 girls competing in the Oxford Mail Girls Football League Finals, or just turning up with their families, took part in the free programme aimed at encouraging girls to get involved in the game. The event was organised through the support of the Oxfordshire FA, Oxford United Ladies FC and the FA Tesco Skills team.
The participants, aged from 5-17 years old, were accompanied by England stars Steph Houghton and Ellen White (Arsenal Ladies) and Eni Aluko (Chelsea Ladies).
Players delighted the youngsters by taking part in photography, signing autographs and offered top tips and advice on how to get involved in football. The children also took part in coaching sessions, and a Q&A was held to give an insight into the life of a semi-professional female footballer.
The format of the day was fun and active, combining football, lifestyle and music. The festival was led by FA approved coaches and activities included skills and drills, interactive games (target shots, speed cage, batak boards), mini matches inside an inflatable pitch and the ContiWarmUp Programme - the newest endorsed coaching programme by The FA. Girls also had the chance to pose with the FA WSL and Cyprus Cup trophies. In addition, the loveable FA WSL mascot Berry the bear and Oxford United Ladies mascot Olivia the ox were in attendance and there was hair braiding and face painting to add to the festival atmosphere.
Ellen White, who also handed out the trophies to the winners of the Oxford Mail Girls Football League 2013, said: "This is fantastic to see so many girls enthusiastic at playing football whether they are regular players or totally new to the game. As England and FA WSL players we are very supportive and it is really important for kids to have a go at playing football in a fun environment to encourage participation. The day is a massive success. "
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