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London festival a roaring success
 Women's Football News 4 Jun 2015
 
London festival a roaring success - 4 Jun 2015 - Women's Football News

 
Over 250 girls descended on Hackney Marshes Sports Centre 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 city and was organised through the support of the London FA.
 
Girls aged between five and 16 years from various schools in the city 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 team 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 Sophie Harris and Andria Georgiou from FA Women's Super League (WSL) 2 side London Bees. The ladies were on hand to discuss life as top level female footballers and give advice on how to get involved in the game. Also in attendance was Gunnersaurus from Arsenal and Berry the Bear, official mascot of the FA WSL.
 
Polly Fildes, Women's Football National Project Officer for the FA, said: "Today has seen a fantastic FA Girls' Football Festival take place at Hackney Marshes Sports Centre.
 
"We've had hundreds of students take part and getting this many girls attending the event 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 London Bees players 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."
 
Sophie Harris, goalkeeper for London Bees, added: "It's been a great day here in Hackney. The girls have got some really good skills and hopefully we will see them moving up the ranks and playing in the WSL soon."
 
All festival attendees received a free ticket to a match at their local FA WSL club. There are various matches that the girls will be able to attend, including:
 
Arsenal v Liverpool on Sunday 12th July, 2pm at Meadow Park
London Bees v Oxford United on Sunday 12th July, 2pm at The Hive
Millwall Lionesses v London Bees on Wednesday 22nd July, 7.45pm at Beckenham Town FC

 
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