Girls Football Extra Curricular Activity by Mr Chris
In 2020, the English Football Association set out a new initiative (Inspiring Positive Change) as a 2024 goal for Primary Schools across the UK. This target was set to enable every primary school aged girl to have equal access to football in schools and clubs. Studies found that although 72% of girls played as much football as boys at Primary level, this dropped to just 44% in Secondary school.
At Nadeen School, we actively promote inclusivity and engagement through all of our ECAs and it is a pleasure to enable our girls to participate in football and reap the benefits of the activity, physically and mentally. As part of a project report in 2017 (The Psychological and Emotional Benefits of Playing Football on Girls and Women in Europe), Dr Paul Appleton found that 48% of girls playing football felt less self-conscious and increasingly confident than other children their age. Over 80% of young footballers stated that they felt more confident as a result of playing as part of a team.
When I first moved to Bahrain in 2019, I spent 3 years coaching football to children from ages 2 to 18 years old. For me, it has never been just simply teaching someone how to kick a ball. It has always been about more than that – empowering the person behind the ball and supporting them in becoming the best possible version of themselves. This is the culture we look to encourage, as we give our students the social tools they require, to navigate through life and watch as comradery blossoms amongst them.
Last year our biggest success as a team was watching all of our students fall in love with the sport and watching their confidence grow every week. This is the confidence we took into matches and tournaments with other schools whilst also retaining the sportsmanship and positivity amongst our girls squad, and sharing these attributes with students from other schools.
I very much look forward to this term and embarking on another adventure with our girls football team, welcoming many new faces and reconnecting with those who joined us last year. We had over double the participants that we had last year sign up before a ball was even kicked. That means that we can confidently say that as a school, we are enabling every girl equal access to sports such as football. I cannot wait to see them all develop a greater level of confidence and watch their self-esteem grow whilst enjoying the beautiful game!
We are delighted to have partnered with some of the leading academies around Bahrain including 24N Football Academy. For more information, please visit our Academy Partnerships website page.