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Girls football hits the streets of Essex this month as the ECFA Summer Coaching Programme gets underway, starting off with a session aiming to increase the involvement of young females in one of the County's London Boroughs.
Newham provides the springboard for Essex County FA Community Coaches Andy Edmunds and Lucy Faraday to begin their roadshow of local events on Monday 28th July with the goal of introducing football to girls aged 5-11 years of age or ability in specific areas across the County and East London.
After paying a visit to Newham, an area highlighted in the brand new ECFA Strategy as under-represented in the girls' game, the pair will move on to Clacton, Barking & Dagenham then Epping Forest, and Andy is confident figures can be boosted. "We put the Programme together to try and increase girls' participation in the four specific regions we've targeted," he says. "The girls, as an exit route, will then have the opportunity to play for a team, so if the numbers at each venue are good we have a better chance of creating more teams in that specific area."
The sessions will be based on technique, skill and fun activities and will be open for young people who may or may not have played football before. It will be rolled out from 10am until 3pm, on a Monday to Thursday basis, and will cost just 50p per day. It will also provide a chance for girls to meet new friends and learn skills and game-related practices. Andy and Lucy will lead the sessions with the support of FA Skills Coaches, Young Leaders and Football Development Officers who will occasionally attend one-off sessions to offer different football drills.
"This is the first year we have run this type of programme, so if it's a success we would hope to run a similar programme next year but maybe take it to the next level and work in more areas that need our services," Andy continued. "We will work on basic and advanced practices depending on the ability of the group in each area and they will be able to play a sport they may never have played before. Football and the fun games which will be played will also be a great way to keep fit."
Essex & Suffolk Water have shown their support for the Programme by providing packs of their '97' bottled tap water to keep the children hydrated. The figure represents the amount of purification checks it passes through before reaching the taps of customers. Ann Wareham, spokesperson for the company, said: "Each 500ml bottle of '97' contains a quarter of the daily amount of water recommended for an adult - we should drink at least eight glasses, or two litres, every day."
The sessions will take place as below. Booking forms can be downloaded from www.essexfa.com. Further details can be obtained by speaking to either Andy or Lucy on (01245) 393090 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Newham - Flanders Field, Melbourne Road, East Ham, E6 2RU
Monday 28th July - Thursday 31st July, 10am until 3pm
Clacton - Clacton Leisure Centre, Vista Road, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 6DB
Monday 4th August - Thursday 7th August, 10am until 3pm
Barking & Dagenham - Mayesbrook Park, Lodge Avenue, Barking, RM8 2JH
Monday 11th August - Thursday 14th August, 10am until 3pm
Epping Forest - Buckhurst Hill F.C., Roding Lane, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 6BJ
Monday 25th August - Thursday 28th August, 10am until 3pm
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