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Women's Football News
Women's World Cup fever continues to burn bright - and the Gloucestershire FA is to stage a 12-hour female-only football spectacular at its Oaklands Park arena next Sunday, 13th September.
The county association reports there has been a "noticeable rise" in enquiries and team applications since England stormed to third-place prestige at the summer's Canadian showpiece.
Now the GFA is preparing to host an all-day #WeCanPlay special at its 3G facility in Almondsbury, designed to give girls and adults of all ages the chance not only to perform in a series of small-sided games, but also receive expert help in finding out how to get involved in the game as club volunteers, referees and coaches. Just for good measure, a signed England Women's shirt is up for grabs via a prize draw to all those who register to take part.
The activities begin at 9.30am with a tournament involving five teams - Longwell Green, Bristol Ladies Union, Frampton Rangers, Downend Flyers and Fry Club Girls - who are all preparing to partake in a brand-new GFA Under-18 Girls League scheduled to kick-off the following Sunday, September 20.
While plans are afoot for a keep-fit 'soccercise' session between 10am and 11am, a #WeCanVolunteer workshop targeting young people between the ages of 12 and 25 is to be delivered by the GFA Youth Council between 11am and 1pm, offering advice to those keen to discover the array of off-field roles that can be undertaken, from coaching and refereeing to physiotherapy, administration and media.
For those who enjoy watching the game, Quedgeley Wanderers and Bradley Stoke Ladies will contest a Gloucestershire County Women's League fixture at 2pm, which coincides with the staging of a #WeCanReferee workshop, aimed at females keen to know more about officiating, whether it be as a referee or an assistant running the line.
Between 4pm and 6pm it's the turn of the five-to-11 year-olds to showcase their talents and enthusiasm for a #WeCanPlay skills festival, while at the same time a #WeCanCoach workshop, led by county coach developer Steve Lilley, is on offer to females looking to get into coaching or those currently engaged in it.
Last, but not least, a three-hour Turn Up and Play football session for ages 16 and above is pencilled in between 6pm and 9pm, produced in partnership with the Bristol Women's Casual League.
The activity brings the curtain down on what GFA women and girls football development officer Alexis Lunn-Gadd hopes will prove a real feast for female football enthusiasts.
She said: "Naturally after the success of the Women's World Cup we were looking to do what we could to carry on the momentum from that, so we came up with this #We Can Play event.
"It's designed to give females of all ages the chance and know-how to get involved in football, as a player or volunteer, and we feel we have covered just about all aspects of the game, on and off the field, for those wishing to learn more about all the exciting roles there are out there.
"We have had more women's teams signed up to leagues across the county since the World Cup and more enquiries about playing, coaching and volunteering, so we're hoping this busy 12-hour day will give the girls game in Gloucestershire even more of a boost."
People wishing to attend the event, and sign up for the respective sessions, can do so by visiting http://www.gloucestershirefa.com/news/2015/aug/we-can-play-event or by contacting Alexis personally on 01454 615888 (option 3) or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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