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Women's Football News
Over 250 girls descended on the Lee Westwood Sports Centre at Nottingham Trent University this week to take part in a free FA Girls' Football Festival, aimed at increasing and retaining girls' participation in the game.
The event brought together schools from across the county and was organised through the support of the Nottinghamshire County FA.
Girls aged between five and 11 years from various schools across the county were invited to test their skills in a range of activities combining football, fun and music. The festivals are a joint initiative by The FA and Continental Tyres, providing an exciting, interactive football experience for both those new to the game and regular players.
FA approved coaches led the event, with a number of FA staff and volunteers on hand to help out and referee. Sessions from the FA Skills and Nottingham Forest Community teams included drills, interactive games, mini matches and the ContiWarmUp Programme - the coaching programme from Continental Tyres endorsed by the FA.
Girls also chatted and enjoyed a kickabout with Notts County's Carly Telford, Dani Buet, Laura-Jayne O'Neill and Ashleigh Plumptre. The ladies were on hand to discuss life as professional female footballers and give advice on how to get involved in the game. The club also brought along a speed cage for the participants to test their shooting power.
Of the festival, Goalkeeper Telford who also plays for England, said: "It's been a fantastic FA Girls' Football Festival here in Nottingham.
"The event has a bit of everything for everyone with batak boards, shoot outs and matches, to hair braiding and face painting. The festivals are a great opportunity for the girls to just enjoy football. This is exactly what I would have loved to do at their age.
"Everyone here has a huge smile on their face. Hopefully, if they have a positive experience here, they'll find that football is something that they want to pursue."
Polly Fildes, Women's Football National Project Officer for The FA, said: "Today has seen a fantastic FA Girls' Football Festival take place at Nottingham Trent University.
"We've had hundreds of students take part and getting this many girls attending the events shows the emphasis and commitment that the FA and Continental Tyres put into getting the message out that football isn't just for boys.
"The Notts County Ladies have been a real inspiration to the girls today and the variety of activities on offer has been great. At the festival, there are a number of exciting football-based activities, such as a speed cage and agility testing, as well as goalkeeping, refereeing and freestyle workshops.
"We also incorporate face painting, hair braiding and music to show that whatever your involvement in the sport, there is something for everyone. Our overall goal is to get all the girls that attend interested in, and playing, the beautiful game."
All festival attendees are eligible to receive a ticket for just £1 to Notts County Ladies' next home game on Sunday 10th May 2015 against Liverpool Ladies at 5pm. The match is set to be held at Meadow Lane Stadium.
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