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Women's Football News
Mayesbrook Park was awash with girls on Saturday 5th April when eleven energetic teams from across the county of Essex attended a groundbreaking Football Festival hosted by Barking Ladies FC.
Working alongside the Essex County F.A., Barking held their first ever festival playing 4 v 4 friendly matches for all girls aged between eight and ten. Sharon Brownlie, ECFA Girls' & Women's Football Development Officer for Essex' London Boroughs, was thrilled with the success of the event, explaining: "We are keen to get girls aged ten and under interested in football and holding these festivals is a brilliant way of letting them try the game out."
Towards the end of last year, Sharon was handed the tasking of raising female football participation levels in Essex' five London Boroughs of Newham, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham, Waltham Forest and Havering, which are recognised as areas of low growth in the sport. She is now confident that, with more events like Barking's, the Beautiful Game will quickly develop locally: "This has been a great success and Barking will be holding festivals every five weeks until September. We have been holding free sessions in primary schools around Barking & Dagenham using Barking's female FA Level Two coaches in an effort to set up a team for the start of next season to play in an all-new league set up solely for under-10s."
A total of eleven teams played friendly matches lasting up to fifteen minutes, giving all participants the chance to experience what matches feel like. Amongst the clubs who contributed to such a brilliant turnout were Brentwood Town, Assandun Vikings and Tigers & Senrab, who all had two teams each, while Leigh Ramblers, Dagenham United and Barking Ladies themselves were all able to register a team apiece.
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