How a South Tyneside football club is encouraging young girls to be the next Steph Houghton or Lucy Bronze

A South Tyneside football club is set to launch its first female only training scheme, to encourage more young girls to get onto the pitch.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th September 2019, 11:03 am
Youngsters have signed up for girls-only football sessions with Harton and Westoe Juniors. (Left-right) Mina, 5, Lucy, 5, Isabelle-Rose, 4, Emily-Rose. 6, Abigail, 6 and Amelia, 7.

Harton and Westoe Juniors football club in South Shields will hold its first of the new sessions, for girls aged 4-8, on Friday, September 27 and is offering the first six weeks for free.

The girls will train under an experienced coach, with access to the state of the art facilities and 3G pitches, at Harton Academy where the club is based.

It is hoped that the scheme will encourage girls to get into the sport at a younger age, with the aim of developing their skills to go onto play for the older girls or mixed teams for the club.

“We’re a huge club in the area and this is a brand new thing for us, we’ve never done girls only sessions before, it’s always been mixed,” said a spokesman for Harton and Westoe Juniors.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“There are not enough opportunities for girls in sports, but girls’ participation is improving and we want to try and push it even further.”

The scheme is being implemented on the back of a rise in the number of girls expressing an interest in football following the success of England’s Lionesses’ at the World Cup 2019.

The club continued: “After the ladies World Cup there’s been a huge spike in interest from girls wanting to play football, so we want to give more girls the opportunity to get involved and increase the participation in the local area.”

They have so far had 20 youngsters sign up to the scheme and hope to see around 30 on the pitch for the first session.

They added: “The social aspect of the sessions are important as well, they make friends for life and will be training at the same time as the older girls so they can see them playing and hopefully it will inspire them.

“We’re trying to show girls that football is for everyone.”

The training sessions will be held on Friday evenings from September 27 at 7pm at Harton Academy in South Shields. For more information contact 07804624037.