AFTER-school clubs, festivals and ‘Soccercise’ were amongst the features of FA Girls’ Football Week from 10th to 16th October as thousands of young females at primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities and FA Charter Standard Clubs experienced the beautiful game at 63 events and sessions across Essex.Players aged from 5-25 joined Essex County FA coaches, the FA Skills Team and Football in the Community and School Sports Associations within the local area to take part in a national campaign to raise the profile of female football and support The FA’s aim to double the number of females playing football by 2020.FA Girls’ Football Week was an opportunity to showcase female football at every level. For clubs it was a great chance to attract new players and volunteers. For schools, colleges and universities it encouraged students to learn about football and actually give it a try. After school, college and university clubs and lunchtime football proved popular in Essex, as did club open sessions and training, inter-school tournaments and FA Mars Just Play football.There were activities all over the county. Frinton & Walton Girls FC arranged an Open Morning where new players could come and meet their club officers, see their facilities and watch their girls’ teams in action. Shenfield High School organised a Primary Football Tournament for six Brentwood schools alongside FA Skills sessions and Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford set-up ‘Keepy-Uppy’ and ‘Ball in the Bin’ challenges.Gallions Primary School in Beckton welcomed new faces to a Breakfast Club, 15 schools participated in Southend West School Sports Partnership’s year three and four girls event and, in Harlow, St Luke’s Catholic Primary School staged a ‘Girls vs Teachers’ Penalty Shootout while pupils at Passmores Academy enjoyed a ‘Soccercise’ lesson. Soccercise is an instructor-led aerobic circuit class combining a variety of fitness exercises with a football.FA Skills were also busy throughout the week, providing several coaching sessions around the county. Included in their activity were after school and lunchtime clubs, as well as PE classes, at Kingswood Primary School in Basildon and Billericay’s Mayflower High School. They also attended a festival for around 100 year five and six students on the 3G pitch at Lakeside Sports Ground and ran PE lessons at Warren Primary School, both in Grays.Ideas for girls football activities in clubs, schools, colleges and universities can be found at www.essexfa.com. Information and photos are also being shared on Twitter @EssexCountyFA (use the #GirlsFootballWeek and #WeCanPlay hashtags) and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.Included in the FA Girls’ Football Week fun were: AFC Leyton (Chingford), Anglia Ruskin University (Chelmsford), Barking & Dagenham College (Dagenham), Benhurst Primary School (Hornchurch), Bentley St Paul’s Church of England Primary School (Brentwood), Blackwater Leisure Centre (Maldon), Braintree Town Girls FC (Braintree), Brentwood School (Brentwood), Castle Point & Rochford School Sport Partnership (Canvey Island), Cathedral Primary School (Chelmsford), Chelmer Valley High School (Chelmsford), Chelmsford College (Chelmsford), Colchester Institute (Colchester), Colchester Sixth Form College (Colchester), Colchester United FC Football in the Community (Colchester), Curwen Primary School (Plaistow), Eastbrook School (Dagenham), Essex Royals FC (Wickford), Forest Academy (Ilford), Forest Glade FC (Billericay), Friar’s Grove Primary School (Colchester), Frinton & Walton YFC (Frinton-on-Sea), Gallions Primary School (Beckton), Grays Athletic FC (Grays), Great Berry Primary School (Basildon), Great Dunmow Primary School (Great Dunmow), Greatfields School (Barking), Hamford Primary Academy (Walton-on-the-Naze), Harwich and Dovercourt High School (Harwich), Hatfield Peverel FC (Hatfield Peverel), Havering College of Further & Higher Education (Hornchurch), Horndon-on-the-Hill Church of England Primary School (Stanford-le-Hope), Hutton FC (Hutton), Ingatestone and Fryerning Church of England Voluntary Aided Junior School (Ingatestone), Ingrave Johnson School (Brentwood), Jo Richardson Community School (Dagenham), Joyce Frankland Academy Newport (Saffron Walden), Kings Road Primary School (Chelmsford), Kingswood Primary School (Basildon), Lammas School & Sixth Form (Leyton), Leigh Ramblers FC (Southend-on-Sea), Little Oakley FC (Little Oakley), Little Thurrock Dynamos FC (Grays), Long Ridings Primary School (Brentwood), Mayflower High School (Billericay), Muslimah Sports Association (Ilford), Oakfield Primary School (Wickford), Oaks Park High School (Ilford), Palmer’s College (Grays), Passmores Academy (Harlow), Plantation & Spartak Girls FC (Saffron Walden), PlayFootball Colchester (Colchester), Redden Court School (Romford), Ridgeway Rovers FC (Walthamstow), Roding Valley High School (Loughton), Royal Falcons FC (Beckton), Sandon School (Chelmsford), Seevic College (Benfleet), Shenfield High School (Brentwood), Shield Academy FC (Barkingside), South Essex College (Southend-on-Sea), Southend Primary School Sports Association (Southend-on-Sea), Southend United FC Community & Educational Trust (Southend-on-Sea), Southend West School Sports Partnership (Southend-on-Sea), Springfield FC (Chelmsford), St Aubyns School (Woodford Green), St Clere’s Girls FC (Stanford-le-Hope), St John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School (Chelmsford), St Joseph the Worker Catholic Primary School (Brentwood), St Luke’s Catholic Primary School (Harlow), St Mary’s School for Girls (Colchester), Stanway School (Colchester), Stewards Academy (Harlow), Tendring Technology College (Frinton-on-Sea), Tigers JFC (Romford), Valentines High School (Ilford), Warren Primary School (Grays), West Ham United FC Foundation (Beckton), Westborough Primary School (Westcliff-on-Sea), Woodford Green Preparatory School (Woodford Green), Woodside Academy (Grays), Writtle Minors Girls FC (Chelmsford), Young Parkonians FC (Ilford).
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