Hundreds of schoolgirls attend football festival in Hackney Marshes


Hundreds of schoolgirls had a ball at Hackney Marshes last week for a football festival aimed at getting more women and girls involved in the beautiful game.

The FA-run Girls' Football Festival saw more than 250 youngsters, aged five to 16, from across Hackney and the capital take part in matches, as well as workshops on refereeing, free-styling and skills development.

Girls were able to draw inspiration from not only female footballers at the all-day event, part of Women’s Sport Week, but also from women coaches, referees, physiotherapists and volunteers.

Women’s Sport Week saw those involved in playing, delivering, leading or working in sport come together to celebrate, raise awareness and increase the profile of women’s sport across the UK.


Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council
We want to tell girls that sport, including football, is not just for boys and men but for them too, no matter what their ability.

The festival was an opportunity to celebrate women in football and also showcase what other avenues of the sport are open to girls, including refereeing and coaching.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council

The girls enjoyed a kick-about with Sophie Harris and Andria Georgiou from FA Women’s Super League (WSL) 2 side London Bees, who were on-hand to discuss life as top level female footballers and give advice on how to get involved in the game.

Following the success of the event, the London FA and Hackney Council’s leisure partners, GLL, will now aim to put on more football drop-in sessions at Mabley Green and Hackney Marshes to increase female participation in football in the borough.

Polly Fildes, Women’s Football National Project Officer for the FA, said: “Our overall goal is to get all the girls that attended interested in, and playing, the beautiful game.”

All festival attendees received a free ticket to a match at their local FA WSL club.

The Women’s Football World Cup began on Friday