Take advantage of the World Cup buzz
In a change to the application process, clubs and organisations can apply to run a Wildcats or Squad Girls session at any time from 1st August 2023 to 31st July 2024. Upon approval, training is also now “on demand” meaning that it can be done when suits clubs and volunteers.
With the World Cup currently taking place in Australia and New Zealand, the spotlight is bigger than ever on female football and we’re looking for more clubs and organisations to provide opportunities for girls aged 5-14 to get involved and give football a go.
James Shiplee, Senior Football Development Officer, said: "It’s great to have both Wildcats and Squad Girls open to applicants again as we continue to grow opportunities for girls in Oxfordshire. We’ve got so much great work going on with existing providers, and we want to make sure every girl aged 5-14 is within easy travel distance of these sessions. Having seen the success they’ve had in growing the number of teams locally, I’d strongly encourage all clubs to consider whether this is their next step in being inclusive environments."
Wildcats is the perfect introduction for girls aged 5-11 who have never played football. A middle ground between school and club football, Wildcats gives girls the chance to Have Fun, Make Friends, and Play Football. Sessions are all about getting used to the ball through games and getting know people, without any pressure of matches on the weekend.
Wildcats has been a key driver in the growth of girls football in the county, with several clubs growing the number of girls teams they have off the back of how many girls have attended their Wildcats sessions.
Squad Girls sessions are similar to Wildcats, but for ages 12-14. Suited for girls who haven’t played before either due to a lack of school teams, or just haven’t found an interest until now, Squad Girls is looking to boost player numbers at older age groups for those who don’t want the pressure of playing games.
Both programmes are run on a casual basis, for a minimum of 16 weeks throughout the year, though many run their sessions year round, with a short break over the summer holidays.
Clubs and organisations who apply and are successful will receive:
- A perfect opportunity to grow and develop the female game in Oxfordshire
- Training around how your sessions should run and how to make sure the girls enjoy themselves
- Support from Oxfordshire FA where needed
- Promotion on The FA’s Find Football website, and Oxfordshire FA’s Wildcats / Squad Girls website page
- Marketing assets for promotion of sessions across print and digital media
- £600.00 funding over two years upon achieving the funding requirements
If you’re interested in getting involved with either, or both, of these programmes, please get in touch with James Shiplee on Development@OxfordshireFA.com, or 07956 415587 to find out more.