More than 180 girls from 19 schools took part in an exciting tournament at Griffin Park earlier this month week. The event, which saw Collis Primary School in Teddington crowned winners, was part of wider initiative that encourages more girls to play football.
A sea of excited girls lined up and took part in the thrilling six-a-side tournament, which included primary schools from Ealing, Hounslow and Richmond. The tournament culminated in a tense final between Collis Primary School, in Teddington, and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, in Chiswick.
The event, run by Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, was held in conjunction with the Premier League’s Primary Stars initiative. This initiative uses the appeal of professional football clubs to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills. To achieve this, the Trust is delivering sports sessions, upskilling teachers and hosting educational workshops at 50 different schools.
Greta Choksi, from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Chiswick, said: “It is so exciting being here – all the boys in my class and my brothers are so jealous that we got to play at Griffin Park.”
James Loizos, a teacher from the winning school, said: “For a lot of our girls this is their first opportunity to play competitive football and to do it in a stadium like this is fantastic. I don’t think a lot of our girls realise how luck they are to play here, but we’re certainly enjoying it!”
Sharan Khroad, a female a coach at the Trust, spoke of how this tournament has come along at the perfect time. She said: “I can’t think of a better time for girls to get involved in football – this is the optimum time for girls of all ages and abilities to start playing. Girls’ football is growing so quickly and this tournament at Griffin Park is testament of how important girls’ football is becoming.”
With the FA committed to doubling female participation in football by 2020, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust has been running a successful girls’ football programme for the past five years – engaging with more than 1,000 girls.