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Barstable School and C.K. Basildon Girls F.C. are the latest institutions to benefit from the F.A. School-to-Club Link Programme after their recent 'Girls Only' World Cup-based Festival was enjoyed by nearly twenty young females.
The influence of the England Women's Team, who reached the last eight of the F.I.F.A. Women's World Cup recently, was the inspiration behind the event, designed to increase opportunities for girls football in Basildon.
Charter Standard club C.K. Basildon were proactive in the running of the event which saw nineteen budding footballers brush aside the rain and participate in the festivities. Taster sessions were previously run at local schools by the E.C.F.A.'s Community Coach, Andy Edmunds, during P.E. lessons. C.K. are known to be particularly well-involved in their community and they were only too happy to help progress the scheme.
The taster sessions took place in ten primary schools around the area and E.C.F.A. Girls & Women's Development Officer, Emma Wake, was particularly thrilled with their success: "We've done these sort of things before but this programme stood out as one of the most popular as we've identified Basildon as an area we need to work in. The club have been fantastic and we are hoping to link-in with future programmes the local authority are planning."
The School-to-Club Link Programme aims to improve the exit routes available for youngsters to increase their participation in the game through making football in their schools a lifetime hobby, creating clear pathways for them to continue to enjoy the national game outside of class hours.
Funding for eight sessions has been supplied by the E.C.F.A. with the ultimate goal being the scheme becoming self-sustainable and leading to a brand-new C.K. Basildon Under 11s team for next season. Emma continued: "We have to thank the club who have been brilliant with their organisation and coaching, especially Peter King and Paul Clarke who have been driving forces, and also to the female teachers at the schools who got involved and didn't just stand back to watch. The event has been a massive triumph."
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