A Wrexham high school has been selected to participate in a pan Wales pilot of an innovative programme designed to encourage girls to engage in physical education through football, and develop their leadership and life skills.

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Ysgol Clywedog is one of 20 schools in the country to take part in the Be Football Schools Programme which will involve around 150 girls from years 7 to 9.

The programme is being run in conjunction with two charities: the Football Association Wales (FAW) Trust, responsible for the development of football in Wales, and the Youth Sport Trust (YST), a national charity that is passionate about every child experiencing the life changing benefits that come from play and sport.

Designated teachers at the school will receive training to help them to encourage girls in curriculum physical education through football, identify and develop life skills, and support girls to be empowered to lead football-related activity for others.

Six girls have been selected as football activators and will receive peer leadership training, following either a marketing or delivery pathway.  The girls taking up the delivery pathway are Ellie Thomas, Alys Griffiths and Ruby Whitfield.  Faith Jarvis, Abbie Houghton and Meghan Rogers have chosen the marketing leadership roles.

Alys said: “Girls need to be more confident in themselves, and we hope that taking part in this project will help lots of girls.”

Meghan is excited to start her new role.  She said: “I’m hoping this project will make me more confident and teach me some skills that I can use in the future.”

As part of the programme, the school will be supported to establish and deliver extra-curricular girls’ football clubs or other related activity led by the girls’ football activators.

Due to the pandemic, all training will be carried out virtually starting later this month.  The programme will operate through to July next year.

Joanne Attwood, head of PE, is delighted that the school is taking part in the programme.  She said:  “The PE department is really excited to have been selected to participate in the programme. The girls have been asking for more opportunities to play football. This programme will allow them to build on their confidence and leadership skills and, most importantly, inspire them to get active through playing football.”

As well as being given a support contact from the YST and FAW Trust to provide longer term connection, the school will receive equipment to deliver the programme and ‘Be Football’ branded clothing for the girls in the leadership team, plus water bottles and resource cards.

Training will also be provided for the Girls’ Football Youth Sport Award, a reward and recognition scheme which evidences activators’ life skills learning and achievements through football.

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