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Five of the best female footballers in the country are to join the Sport England's Sporting Champions scheme.
Jill Scott, Alex Scott, Siobhan Chamberlain, Lianne Sanderson and Rachel Brown have signed up to the programme and hope to pass on some of their experience, which includes going to the recent Women's World Cup.
Sporting Champions takes past and present elite athletes into local communities to motivate and inspire more young people to get active and achieve their potential in sport. The scheme forms part of Sport England's ambition to create a world-class sports development system of sport and encourage more people to take part in sport.
Eleven Sporting Champions also participate in the RESPECT Athlete Mentoring Programme (RAMP), a Government-funded initiative engaging disadvantaged and disaffected young people through the power of sport. Sport England are delivering 75, six-month interventions in community projects in 15 areas across the country.
The women's decision to join Sporting Champions follows a great performance at the World Cup in China in September, where the Team were knocked out at the quarter final stage by the USA who are the number one women's team in the world and two times World Champions.
The five footballers join 100 other Sporting Champions from a range of different sports and backgrounds, including Dame Tanni Grey Thompson, Michael Vaughan OBE and Ade Adepitan who are all signed up to the scheme.
Phil Veasey, Head of Children and Young People at Sport England said: "Watching the England women's football team play in the World Cup will have inspired the next generation of young footballers. The Sporting Champions scheme allows people to get even closer to their heroes &emdash; to hear about their experiences and get advice from them.
"I am thrilled that five of the England women's football team have agreed to become Champions - hearing about their footballing knowledge will be great at motivating more young people into the sport."
Sue Smith, Sporting Champion Regional Leader for the North West and England midfielder said: "It's great that the girls are joining the scheme and I hope, as part of my role as Regional Leader, that I can support my teammates and help them to become the best Champions they can be in their own regions."
Hope Powell, FA National Women's Coach added: "The FA see a partnership between the England Women's team and Sporting Champions as being a natural fit.
"Girls and women's football is the number one female participation sport in England but numerous recent studies have shown that females do not do enough regular exercise, whilst childhood obesity is a real hot topic of late.
"With five of the England team signing up to work with Sporting Champions, going into schools as role models, hopefully they will inspire more young girls to get active, and who knows, maybe end up pulling on The Three Lions shirt themselves one day."
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