On International Women’s Day, Chelsea Foundation have today announced a new initiative which will offer 5000 young girls their first experience of football.
The commitment was unveiled at today’s Chelsea Foundation’s Nothing Stops Us event at Kingsmeadow where 400 local school girls participated in fun football activities and workshops at the stadium.
The Nothing Stops Us female-only event took place ahead of the Women’s Super League fixture between Chelsea FC Women and Brighton & Hove Albion Women, with the school students receiving free tickets for the match.
The event consisted of football drills and challenges along with educational and health and wellbeing sessions including female empowerment and workshops led by partners, Kingston Mind and Nike, who also gifted students sports bras.
The day, which saw Chelsea FC staff taking time out of their day to volunteer and take part in the event, culminated in a Walking Football match between Chelsea and Brighton walking football teams.
The initiative, which will be made available to 5000 young girls each year, was delivered by Chelsea Foundation coaches working directly in local primary schools initially in South West London and Surrey.
Chelsea FC Foundation already offers a whole host of opportunities within women’s football, with female-focused programmes taking place in colleges and development centres every week, including an Emerging Talent Centre in Carshalton to help tackle the lack of high-level opportunities for girls from inner city areas who want to further their game.
Simon Taylor, Head of Chelsea Foundation, said: ‘This is the largest commitment of this kind ever made by a football club, we are proud to be leading the way and grateful for the support of the Club in making this happen.
‘By providing such a significant number of young girls with this exciting opportunity and their first step into football, it will enable us to then direct these young players into local clubs and other Chelsea Foundation programmes which will set them on a path that keeps them enjoying sport.’
Dan Burrows, Senior Director, Social & Community Impact EMEA at Nike, added: ‘At Nike, we are committed to increasing access to sport for girls. Our work with partners like Chelsea FC and Everybody Consulting is vital to removing cultural, social and economic barriers to participation, so all kids, especially girls, have an opportunity to benefit from play and sport. Together, we can create an active next generation and a healthier and more equitable future for all.'
The Nothing Stops Us campaign is about the unstoppable momentum of women’s football, from the elite game through to the grassroots.