Barking Riverside, Scrattons Farm and Thames View

News for residents, by residents

Getting girls into football

We set up a girls team because there are very few provisions for girls football in our area. There are provisions for girls football but they usually involve at least an hour’s worth of travel for girls that wish to participate. When you combine this with the fact that we are in one of the most economically challenged boroughs in London and alot of people in the area come from migrant families, it’s very difficult for girls to gain access to football.

In my experience as a football coach, this particularly becomes an area of concern when girls have very little to do outside of school. They will have football and sports at school, which provides a structure, but outside of school hours girls have very little to do. In a borough at the lower end of the economic ladder in London, just like boys, girls who don’t have anything to do or participate in outside of school activities can end up in trouble and susceptible to bad influences.

Triangoals Youth FC has a lot of primary school-aged girls, mainly because I teach in a primary school, but when they leave primary school and need to find girls teams at secondary school age level, it becomes difficult for them. Also, if their families can’t afford or don’t have the time to take them to the football training sessions and games, then they just stop playing and stop going.

Football is important because it helps to motivate girls and provides them with transferable skills – transferable skills that are applicable to the classroom. Training equals homework and revision. Matches equals exams. We make that clear to them. If you have the mindset to truly engage in a hobby most times it will spill over into the classroom.

We also encourage them to join their school teams, not just football, because it helps them perform in the classroom. We also liaise with the schools, and so their performance in the classroom affects their place on the team. They can’t play in matches if they aren’t performing in schools.

There is a lot of funding being put into girls football now due to the success of women’s football. Primarily, the England Women’s football team, which has shown girls where they can be if they excel at football. We have had girls go on to sign for academies just like boys.

Our sessions are open for all age groups from primary to secondary school (ages 5 to 16 years old). We hope our 16+ players will start to form our adult teams and also come back to coach with us.


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By Wesley Jackson Charles

Clerk chair at Triangoals Youth FC


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