Inspire Event: West Berkshire Mini World Cup
England Internationals Fran Kirby and Rebecca Jane passed out tips to first time female footballers at West Berkshire Mini World Cup. The event held at Speenhamland School Playing Fields on Saturday 19th July 2014 saw over 40 girls aged between 5 -10 sample a range of football taster sessions.
Organised by Get Berkshire Active and West Berkshire Council's Public Health & Wellbeing Team, the family fun day provided a unique opportunity for girls to try football activities, receive FA skills coaching, train with thriving local clubs Thatcham Town Ladies & Girls F.C. and AFC Newbury, a chance to experience badminton, frisbee, skipping and many more fun activities for all the family as part of the West Berkshire Council's Public Health and Wellbeing 'Green Bags' launch and go away with free Change4Life 'Summer Shake Up' resources to help them reach the recommended 60mins or more of physical activity per day.
Women's World Cup 2015 and Reading FC Star Kirby stated "interest in women's football is on the up, participation across all age groups is rising and events like this are a brilliant way of introducing girls to the sport".
One participant particularly impressed; despite having no prior experience of organized football Abbie Holland from Falklands Primary was invited to trial with the Reading FC Under 10 Academy Squad. Impressing at the trial she is now the team's goalkeeper. Her achievements were recognized as she was awarded a signed Reading FC Women's shirt at a West Berkshire Children & Young People Celebration Evening.
In a message read out at the Celebration Event, Rebecca Jane had this to say about Abbie's recent success:
"When attending the West Berkshire Girls Football Event last summer, myself and Fran (Kirby) immediately spotted a girl who stood out from the rest when helping out with the coaching drills. Abbie was the only one who was throwing the ball up in the air and rolling it along the floor whilst taking part in a dribbling drill. This was great to see, as being the coach of the Reading U10 girls team, I was looking for a goal keeper for the upcoming season, and it's always great to see young girls wanting to play in goal! We invited her to come along and train with the rest of the U10 team, and Abbie fitted in very well. Since being part of the team, Abbie has improved massively, and is a valuable member of the team, pulling off some amazing saves and keeping the team in games a number of times. It's clear to see that both Abbie and her family are committed to her playing and improving, and great to know the event last summer has given her the platform to do this."
Certainly one to watch in the future…