Women and Girls Football: A Review of 2022
As International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on Wednesday, we take a look back on 2022 and what an amazing year it was for women and girls football at the Trust.
On Wednesday 8 March International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide. This year, the theme is #EmbraceEquity and encourages people to imagine a gender-equal world, free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, where difference is valued and celebrated.
At the Trust, women and girls football has been a prominent part of our delivery for a long time and 2022 was no different!
We kicked off January with our free Women’s Recreational Programme at Gunnersbury Park. The session focuses on improving the participants’ abilities whilst offering them the opportunity to socialise, make new friends, and improve their health and fitness.
To find out more information and sign up, click here: https://book.brentfordfccst.com/free-recreational-football-for-females/
February 2022 was a standout month for Cara Graham who is an alumnus of the Trust’s Post 16 programme. Cara made her debut for Brentford Women’s first team in their 3-1 win in the League Cup against Parkwood Rangers.
Last year Amy Crook, Women’s Teams General Manager, set herself the challenge of beating the Club Record for attendance to a Women’s game during the season. The previous number was set at Griffin Park when 400 people came to watch a game. On Sunday 6 March 2022 history was made when the First Team had a fixture against Sport London e Benfica.
Amy said: “This time the setting was Bedfont Football Club, extra parking was hired out, three officials were wired up, paramedics were on site and stewards were in place; all to get 1,010 people through the turnstiles safely. This was an outstanding achievement for the club. The team thrived under the pressure and delivered.”
Trust participants were also involved on the day with girls’ development centre participants acting as mascots and some of our Community Engagement participants being flag bearers.
Later on, in the month St Gregory’s Primary School represented the Trust at the Primary Stars Girls Tournament hosted by the Palace for Life foundation. The girls made it all the way to the semi-finals, with Primary Stars Coordinator Bevan Vincent commenting that the girls represented the Trust and their school impeccably. The girls also received a special visit from Brentford FC Women’s first team defender Amber Lloyd who joined an awards assembly at the school and shared her footballing journey with the team.
March was also a great month off the pitch as our Community Engagement Social Action project with the Premier League came to an end. The girls organised a 5km walk which raised over £1,000 towards the Afghanistan & Central Asian a Girls only football team.
In April the Trust ran a free Community Engagement football camp at Bedfont Sports Club with over 70 girls attending. The participants enjoyed a day full of football activities and also got to test their flexibility with one of our gymnastics coaches.
QPR In The Community Trust invited our Post 16 Girls to play in an exhibition match at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. One of the players also captured a “Day in the Life” vlog to document the day.
May was also a time for giving as several of the girls from the Post 16 team dropped off books at the deposit box at Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub. They also challenged each other to an impromptu game of two-touch whilst dropping the books off.
June was a successful month on the pitch as Collis Primary School represented the Trust and won the Premier League Primary Stars Under 11 tournament at Vicarage Road. To celebrate the win Brentford Women’s first team player Amber Lloyd presented the girls with the trophy and a signed Christian Eriksen shirt.
The UEFA Women’s Euros kicked off on 6 July with England beating Austria at Old Trafford. It would go on to be a hugely successful summer for the Lionesses.
To celebrate the first of four matches held during the tournament at the Gtech Community Stadium, the Trust hosted a Talent ID Day at Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub on 8 July. Read more about the day here: https://book.brentfordfccst.com/trust-hosts-talent-id-tournament/
As the Euros progressed BBC Radio London ran a feature with some of our Women’s Recreational participants and staff. The Lionesses Legacy was already well underway.
During the tournament players from our Girls Development Centre had the unbelievable opportunity to be flag bearers for games that were hosted at the Gtech Community Stadium.
The Trust also announced the award of a 3-year Emerging Talent Centre Licence enabling us to provide further pathways for girls with our football programmes. Full story here: https://book.brentfordfccst.com/we-have-been-awarded-an-fa-girls-emerging-talent-centre-licence/
In August the Trust celebrated the achievement of the Lionesses at Euro 2022 and our involvement in the tournament.
Players from Brentford Women’s first team attended the graduation of participants on the Twinning Project at HMP Bronzefield. The project involves a ten-week training programme to upskill participants and offer them a positive pathway when they are released. To find out more about the programme, click here: https://book.brentfordfccst.com/success-for-our-twinning-project-participants/
The Trust also hosted a Primary Stars tournament as part of the Premier League’s 30th Anniversary trophy tour. Former England internationals Ellen White and Anita Asante joined us at the event where they shared their expertise with the young players during a Q&A session.
Click the link to find out more https://book.brentfordfccst.com/brentford-fc-community-sports-trust-host-premier-league-30th-anniversary-celebrations/
During the October half-term as we travelled to West Ham as our Emerging Talent Centre Girls played in their first matches against the Irons.
In November some of our Post 16 Girls had the opportunity to sit down with former Brentford player Marcus Gayle and ask him about his World Cup experience with Jamacia in 1998.
We launched our Impact Report, Changing Horizons. Post 16 Girls player Calli Weaver shared her story and said, “Being a part of the Trust is what’s made me the person I am today”.
It was a monumental month for the Brentford Women’s first team, as they played their first-ever match at the Gtech Community Stadium in front of another record crowd of over 5,000 fans. An eventful match saw Brentford emerge victorious beating Watford Development Ladies 4-2.
December wasn’t just a time of giving at the Trust, as we hosted a celebration event to continue the legacy of the Women’s Euros. Over 200 women and girls joined us at Gunnersbury Park to take part in events throughout the day.
During the day players from Brentford Women’s first team joined in with the sessions and were able to share their experiences with the women and girls. Defender Chloe Webb said, “I couldn`t believe how many girls were playing here day, particularly in the older groups who tend to think the stereotypical ‘girls can`t play football’, but it`s grown so much since then.”
For more information about all of our Women and Girls Programmes, click here: https://book.brentfordfccst.com/girls-programmes/