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Berriew FC Juniors a flagship for female footballers

 
Created on 05/03/2020 @ 07:27
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Twelve years ago Berriew Football Club had just one girl turning up to its junior sessions. But things have certainly moved on a long way since then.

The village club in Mid Wales now boasts 64 girls who regularly pull on their football boots. 

The success reflects the boom in the female game across Wales. Latest FAW Trust figures reveal that the female game has grown by 50% in just four years. A record 8,600 women and girls are now signed up to football clubs in Wales.

The FAW Trust says the increase can be attributed to the hard work and commitment of volunteers and coaches.

Coach Paul Inns is the driving force at Berriew: “We are really proud that we now have a full pathway in place right up to under 16s. There isn’t yet a Powys Girls League but the girls are encouraged to play against the boys. It’s challenging which the players enjoy and it’s encouraged more girls to join the club.

“We cover a wide catchment area with players coming from as far as Trefeglwys and Llansantffraid. We put on festivals to give girls more opportunities to play against local sides and it’s a great introduction for people to try out the sport too.

"We wouldn’t be able to do any of it without our brilliant army of coaches and volunteers.”

Recently, Berriew FC was also selected by the FAW Trust to pilot Huddle - its new programme for girls aged five to 12 years old – which focusses on fun and friendship: “We wholeheartedly buy into the concept of Huddle - making football fun to be enjoyed with friends,” explains Paul.

“We have had a number of girls who started the season as Huddle players, who have now registered and play in our girls’ teams. But if girls prefer to carry on in the Huddle sessions rather than play competitively, that is absolutely fine.”

Berriew are so passionate about encouraging girls to play, they have decided to make Huddle sessions free of charge.

Girls football is certainly thriving at Berriew – so much so, that Inns has recently set up a women’s five-a-side session: “We recently had six teams of women – most of them Mums of players – and there was a really good standard. But more importantly, we all had so much fun.

"We are happy to welcome any women along – players from other teams are very welcome to join in. We just want to provide opportunities and grow the game.”

As well as the Huddle initiative, the FAW Trust has several programmes in place in order to achieve the ambitious goal of 20,000 registered female players by 2024. These include a partnership with Rainbows, Brownies and Guides as well as a secondary school programme which will launch in June 2020.

To find your nearest Huddle session, visit www.huddle.cymru

Photo: Players at Berriew FC Juniors

 

 


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