Orange footballs in front of a goal post

Have you had your Weetabix?

Well, girls aged 5-11 across the UK are clearly having theirs as the cereal company has teamed up with The FA to bring fun and exciting sessions of recreational football to several local communities across the UK.

The scheme allows grassroots football clubs to apply for funding, kits, and all the necessary equipment which will allow them to deliver hour-long sessions on a weekly basis. Working alongside local county FAs, FA qualified coaches and local volunteers donate their time to create a safe space for young girls to have the chance to play football in a relaxed environment.

According to the FA website, the sessions are all about having non-competitive fun, getting active and making new friends. Sounds amazing, right?

Well, it’s never been easier to get involved, as there are currently over 1,600 Wildcats providers in all different parts of the nation. At only £3 a session, parents can take their children after school or at the weekends to try out a new sport, stay and watch along or even take part themselves! 

”We want girls to have equal access to football’’

Weetabix Wildcats is just one of the many ways that football associations have been encouraging girls and women to get involved in football in recent years. It is part of a long-term journey for the nation to fully embrace diversity and inclusion in all aspects of life, particularly sport.

Louise Gear, the FA’s Head of Football Development, addressed the inequality that girls currently face when trying to get involved in the game at a young age.

She said: ”As stated in our Women’s and Girls’ strategy Inspiring Positive Change, by 2024, we want girls to have equal access to football”. This is hopefully great news for the future of girl’s football, as those in positions of power have a duty to ensure that real change takes place. 

Local football coach from Hamble Football Club, Brooke Veal-Weaver, spoke of how she was inspired to start running Wildcats sessions every Wednesday evening to ‘teach and inspire girls to fall in love’ with the game that she loves herself. She also manages the Hamble U12 Belles team which many girls from the Wildcats sessions eventually move into once they have developed enough confidence. 

So, if you know any girls aged 5-11 or are feeling inspired to get involved and make a difference, you can find out more about Weetabix Wildcats opportunities near you on The FA website.

Featured image courtesy of Rick Barrett via Unsplash. No changes were made to this image. License details found here.

By Emilie Mwanza

Founder of LG Women's Football. Trainee multimedia journalist