Harborough Town Girls' Football Club was launched on Sunday, August 3rd, with a sponsored dribble. The dribble raised £500 for equipment and kit for the newly formed team, which starts competing in the Leicester City and County Girls' League in September.
The team was formed after the Girls Football Co-Ordinator for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, Marion Hayton, visited Harborough schools with football taster sessions during May and June, with the aim of starting competitive girls football in the town. 37 girls then attended a pilot training session at Harborough Town Junior Football Club, and 25 then registered to be on the squad, establishing an under 12's seven-a-side team and an under 14's 11-a-side team.
The sponsored dribble required the girls to dribble a ball for four hours, with parents standing in during toilet and drink breaks to ensure the ball was constantly moving. Participants also enjoyed a barbecue and a raffle at the event.
Marion Hayton said: 'Sunday went very well'. She thanked all those involved in the club, including Jeanie Unwin, Club Secretarty, Linda Ullis, Child protection Officer, Gordon Amos, Under 14 Coach and Gavin Cooper, Under 12 Coach. The team trains every Wednesday from 6.30 - 7.30 pm at Harborough Town Junior Football Club on the Northampton Road, where newcomers are welcome. For more information call the Club's Secretary, Jeanie Unwin on 01 858 432137.
GIRLS FOOTBALL TRIALS
215 girls applied, some of which were nominated by their school or club to attend the trials for the Girls Centre of Excellence an the Coaching Development Centre.
The week long trials were held from Monday, 18th to Friday, 22nd August 2003 at Lancaster Boys School, one of the three specialist sports colleges in Leicestershire.
The biggest attendance group was the under 12's with a massive 90 players who came to show off their talent, followed by 79 for the under 14's and 46 for the under 16's. All players were assessed not only on technique ability, skills, game and tactical awareness but also on attitude, discipline, commitment and enthusiasm for the game.
The programme was delivered by the partnership of Leicester City Football Club Girls Centre of Excellence and Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Active Sports. Coaches from both centres were involved in delivering coaching sessions and refereeing small sided and 11-a-side games, whilst the selection of the players was down to Craig White, Centre Director, Rehanne Skinner, Female Development Officer at Football in the Community and Marion Hayton, Girls Football Co-Ordinator at Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Active Sports Partnership.
For the first time this season, the Centre of Excellence have entered in the Eastern Region Football League and will be playing every third week, allowing the players to compete against other players of the same ability.
The link between both centres is of great importance, hence the assessments set to check the level of each players' development. Any player that drops her level in the Centre of Excellence is moved down to the Coaching Development Centre, whilst any player in the Coaching Development Centre showing improvement is given the chance to move up to the Centre of Excellence.
It is also going to be an exciting time this year as Active Sports will be setting up two Coaching Development Centres. One will be based at the new Fullhurst Sports Hall and the other at Loughborough University Sports Hall. Also, for the very first time one of the centres will be coaching a group of under 16's.
The 20 week programme at the Coaching Development Centre will end with a Soccer Camp in March 2004. Throughout the programme a set of workshops is being arranged for the players to help them gain more knowledge in their football development. These workshops will cover - Injury Prevention, SAQ training, Drug Abuse, Psychology, Diet and Nutrition. Also, the centre is planning to arrange friendlies against teams from partnerships around the county.
For further information about the Coaching Development Centre, or if you know of any talented player that has missed the trials and would like to be part of the girls football development at a higher level, then please contact Marion Hayton, Girls Football Co-Ordinator at ACTIVE SPORTS on 0116 233 3037 or email