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Women's Football News
The FA Girls' Football Festival in association with Continental Tyres, visited Nottingham Trent University, on Sunday 9th March.
Over 240 girls from Nottingham took part in the free programme, aimed at increasing and retaining participation in the game. The event was organised through the support of Nottinghamshire County FA, and Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, who provided the venue.
The participants, aged from 5-16 years old, were accompanied by Notts County Ladies player Katie Holtham, who delighted the youngsters by taking part in the batak board and target shooting activities. She also signed autographs for the girls and gave them advice about their game, and how to progress in women's football.
Youngsters had the chance to ask their burning questions to the Notts County midfielder. A Q&A was held to give an insight into the life of a FA WSL player and questions from the girls' ranged from when Katie started playing football, to who was her favourite male and female player. FA Female Referee Ambassador, Lisa Rashid, discussed her experience and how she became a referee, revealing to the girls that she wasn't a very good footballer, so refereeing was her way into the game.
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) and mini matches inside an inflatable pitch. Teams combined this with fixtures in the Notts Girls' and Ladies Football League.
Lisa Rashid and Brittany Smith also delivered a refereeing workshop and girls had the chance to pose with the FA WSL trophy, the Cyprus Cup and The FA WSL Continental Cup. In addition, the FA WSL mascot Berry the bear was in attendance, along with Notts County's Mr and Mrs Magpie, and there was hair braiding and face painting to add to the festival atmosphere.
Speaking about the day, Katie Holtham said: "Today's event is massive for the future of women's and girls' football. I think it's important that local girls can have events like this, to enjoy and learn. Obviously if Continental can help support that then it's massive to have their involvement with such big events to give girls that opportunity."
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