The North East is set to benefit from a new scheme aimed to get more girls playing football.
There will be over 200 SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Clubs across the UK, including two based in Washington and one in Jarrow.
It has been described as a “tremendous initiative” by the chief of the local County Football Association and will also receive support from the region’s FA Women’s Super League sides.
Clubs will run after school or on the weekends for a 16-week period, giving girls aged 5-11 an opportunity to play football on a regular basis while helping the Football Association hit their target of doubling participation in female football by 2020.
Washington AFC, Washington Athletic and Jarrow Youth FC will play host to the clubs with further centres based in Durham, Hartlepool and Darlington.
As well as giving youngsters an opportunity to play football there’s a chance for parents to get involved too, with football related fitness sessions to run alongside these clubs.
John Topping, the Company Secretary of Durham County Football Association, believes these schemes can only be good for the region.
He said: “This is a tremendous initiative from the Football Association and an ideal opportunity to promote and grow girls’ football within the County. The Durham County FA are fully supportive of this venture.”
His views were echoed by Lee Sanders, General Manager of FA Women’s Super League side Durham Women FC: “I think this is a tremendous scheme. Anyone who is involved in girls football knows that we want to get participation and spectator numbers up and schemes such as this are fantastic to increase these figures.
“Having a club in the Women’s Super League, the girls being targeted by the SSE Wildcats’ Girls Football Clubs are those who we want to look at our senior players as role models. This scheme will hopefully help that happen.
“For the clubs to be named Wildcats is fantastic too – as that’s our club nickname!”
For more information on the SSE Wildcats’ Girls’ Football Clubs in the North East, visit the County Football Association website.