Welsh Schools' Football Association
Cymdeithas Peldroed Ysgolion Cymru
It is my great privilege to have been elected to the role of WSFA Head of Girls Football for the 2018/19 season. The association has achieved significant success in opening up access for schoolgirls across Wales to participate and, ultimately, enjoy the beautiful game.
The fusion of education with sport is one of my great passions - pupils can learn so much about discipline, team work, resilience, communication and leadership from participating in sport. One of my other civic roles is to serve as Chairman of Swansea University Football Club - so I can tell you categorically that if we engage our children in football at a young age, their passion for the sport will not only last through their school years but onwards into their adult life.
The WSFA has made great strides in growing the girls’ game recent years. We concentrate on growing the game through engagement activities such as our Primary 5s festivals and our Inter-Schools competitions. The Primary 5s is a relatively new concept at the national level, but the initiative is already making an impact and is enabling more girls to play football at Primary School level. The Inter-Schools competitions are booming and there is no doubt that the WSFA interventions at Secondary School level is one of the key drivers in the growth of the girls’ game in recent years. Female participation in our schools competitions has grown by 20% in 3 years.
My specific focus is on developing and growing the WSFA Girls Inter-Association Competitions. This pathway is otherwise known as 'County Football'. Traditionally, the Schools Associations across Wales will invite nominations from their respective Schools and through a trial process will select a County Squad at U11, U13 and U15. Whereas the Primary 5s and Inter-Schools initiatives are engagement instruments, the Inter-Association provides a pathway and platform for the most talented female footballers in Wales. My objective is to grow the reach and significance of this pathway in conjunction with our Schools. Participation in girls County football is on an impressive trajectory, with a growth of 120% in 3 years up to 18/19 - but incredibly as we head into 19/20 the numbers of girls playing schools county football has rocketed by a further 40%!
The ability for WSFA to identify and nurture talent emerging from our Schools in Wales is enormously powerful. It is our Schools who will spot talent before anyone else, it is the ultimate talent ID system.
So whether its engagement or elite football, the WSFA girls’ pathway provides a high quality, well-structured games programme that allows talented girls from all over our nation to test themselves against the best footballing talent in Wales.
I would like to wish all of our associations the very best of luck for the season ahead. If you would like to contact me about my volunteer role at WSFA, then please email me at email@example.com
Head of Girls Football