From the players to the fans, football has historically been played by and for men. But the girls are finally getting a look in.
The England women’s team has climbed to second place in the FIFA world rankings. Compare this to the men’s team, who are currently languishing in 13th place. Plus, in 2017 the FA launched its Gameplan For Growth, an ambitious strategy to double the participation of women and girls in football by 2020.
It’s clear that many girls love the game, but sometimes feel (or are made to feel) that it’s not for them. So if your daughter is a football fan, but seems apprehensive about pursuing the sport, then here are some ways to encourage her interest…
Go to a game
There really is nothing that compares to the thrill and atmosphere of actually going to watch a match live. It’s in a totally different league to watching it on telly or online, and seeing a team in the flesh could really inspire your daughter to try joining a team herself. Even better if you catch a women’s game.
Have a kick-about
Grab a ball, go to the park and get kicking! Whether it’s just the two of you knocking it back and forth between yourselves, or encouraging her to play with her brother and his friends, it’s never too late to start and a great way to try it out.
She might feel self-conscious and worry about being the only girl there, but let her know how great it feels to prove people wrong and make them see that girls CAN play football.
Lead by example
Girls can sometimes be put off football because they worry it’s a man’s game, but you can help her to understand that there isn’t really any such thing. Let her see you do things that might traditionally have been thought of as masculine, and you’ll expand her horizons.
At home, this could mean you’re the one to put up shelves while your husband does the hoovering, for example. You could even join a women’s football team yourself, or learn how to coach or referee. To find teams and courses near you, click here.
Periods don’t stop play
She might be well up for playing a match or two, but not at certain times of the month. If she is still using sanitary towels, now would be a good time to introduce her to tampons as they can be more comfortable while playing sports.
By using Tampax Compak Tampons she can be sure of total comfort and protection against leaks. The compact design means that they fit discreetly into even the tiniest sports bag, and the plastic applicator is super comfortable to use, even for a beginner.
Ease in with an exercise class
One of the things that might put beginners off is that they lack the skills, and they worry that this might let a team down or show them up. The good news is that she doesn’t have to join a team to learn the skills she needs.
If she wants to learn the basics before she joins a team, she could try a Soccercise class. Developed by the FA, this is an aerobic exercise class done to music and using footballs, so she can learn footie skills while getting fit. Search online for a class near you, or click here for more information.
Does your daughter have a love of the game? How do you encourage it? Let us know in the comments section below.