Football is alive and kicking at Woldingham

Football is alive and kicking at Woldingham

7 March 2024

Each Thursday, up to 50 students take part in our after-school football club – an impressive turnout considering the range of clubs and societies open to students and the sport’s relatively short history at Woldingham. Teacher of PE Miss Daley shares her love for the sport and why her goal is to foster a new generation of footballers at Woldingham.

Miss Karleen Daley, Teacher of PE

Since Woldingham participated in our inaugural girls' football tournament in October 2022, with some very resilient students, then in Years 9 and 10, volunteering to take part despite not having had a single training session together, we’ve come a long way. Teachers from several other schools commended the fantastic attitude of our students, who simply enjoyed playing regardless of success, and the tournament highlighted a demand for more opportunities for our students to play and compete in football.

Since then, we have launched our after-school football club, attracting students from Year 7 to Lower Sixth, as well as a lunchtime club on Fridays. Woldingham has competed in several more tournaments, offering students across different year groups a chance to play together, further fostering the community spirit cherished at Woldingham.

So why choose to play football?

Football, traditionally seen as a male-dominated sport, is experiencing a remarkable shift as more girls lace up their boots and take to the pitch. This surge in female participation isn't just about kicking a ball and it’s not just about the success of England women’s football. For me, it's about empowerment, inclusivity, and breaking down gender barriers.

Football fosters a sense of belonging and teamwork. On the field, girls learn to communicate, cooperate, and support each other, forging bonds that extend beyond the game. This camaraderie boosts confidence and self-esteem, empowering them to navigate challenges both on and off the pitch.

Moreover, football instils valuable life skills. From resilience and determination to leadership and decision-making, players develop a toolkit that prepares them for success in various aspects of life. They learn to embrace competition, celebrate victories, and learn from defeats, shaping them as resilient individuals ready to take on the world.

Engaging in regular physical activity not only improves cardiovascular health but also enhances strength, agility, and coordination. Beyond the physical benefits, the endorphin release from playing boosts mood and reduces stress, contributing to overall mental wellbeing.

Furthermore, girls' involvement in football challenges societal norms and promotes gender equality. By participating in a traditionally male-dominated sport, girls defy stereotypes and assert their right to pursue their passions without limitations. Football is already becoming a platform for advocating for equal opportunities and dismantling gender biases.

In conclusion, getting girls involved in football at Woldingham is not just about playing a game; it's about empowerment, skill-building, and societal progress. This is why we will continue to offer students at Woldingham the opportunity to play football. We are looking to increase our provision and working towards having a football team in every year group. So we encourage any students who haven’t tried football yet to come out and play, whether you just want a social kick about or aspire to represent the school. All are welcome.

Football club – Thursday 16:15 – 17:15 (Astro)

Casual football Friday – Friday 13:30 – 14:00 (Sports Hall)

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