Girls’ football is a growing phenomenon. Not so long ago it was only ever boys who played football and that was that. But as you’ll have noted from a couple of other posts on the site, girls and football go together quite happily, especially if there’s an elephant involved but that’s another story. Today, the English Football Association boasts more than 147,000 registered adult women players, and it is energetically promoting the game to girls just as much as boys. The number of female footballers of all ages is increasing dramatically.

Mia shows all the signs of being a proper little soccer star, and happily it seems that if it’s something she’s interested in in the future, there will be plenty of scope to carry on with it, possibly even on a formal basis. A record 6,000 girls, aged under 13, from 72 teams competed to play at Wembley in the final of the Kinder+Sport Football League Girls Cup last year.

Female friendly FA changes

Football clubs nowadays are all desperate to get funds from the national lottery, and to do that they have to prove that they are entirely welcoming and genuinely reaching out to all areas of their local communities. One of the things that this has done is to open up clubs to the involvement of girls. The FA passed a rule last year allowing girls and boys to play in the same matches up until the age of 16 which has got to be a good thing.

At a time when there is so much talk of kids not getting enough exercise and turning into screen zombies, it can only be encouraging to see sport on the horizon. And for fathers of daughters, a little bit of football in the family is a nice add on to Match of the Day and the occasional dabble with the football betting.
Big picture, big symbol

There is more and more reporting of women’s football in the media these days. The BBC are especially promoting the Women’s Super League and they are working really hard to break down the men-only mentality that has basically put football off limits to women.

That sort of coverage sends out an important message to women of all ages, and especially young women and girls. It sends the message that there are no areas of modern life that are shut off to them on the basis of their sex. And that’s how it should be. Women’s football stands as a kind of symbol for women’s place in the modern world. Our mothers may have somehow been convinced that the kitchen sink was their ‘natural’ place whilst their other halves were out, at work or down at the pub, the rugby club or the football. But women’s football shows that our daughters can look ahead to wider and more fulfilling horizons.

Looking ahead

As a mum you can’t help but look at your little ones and wonder what life might have in store for them. The world is changing so fast and in so many different ways that it is impossible to imagine just what sort of a life they might have lived by the time they get to our stage of life. But the way that women are increasingly being allowed to make their own choices - whether that’s something as simple as the games they play or as important as how they earn a living or even how they raise their own kids - can only be a good thing. Once upon a time people were keener to have sons than daughters. That’s not how it is any more.

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