With a notable increase in the number of young girls wanting to take to the pitch, Pennington Football Club has created a number of dedicated training sessions that it hopes will engage with no fewer than 120 female players in the next year.

Investing £8,615 from the Coalfields Community Investment Programme (CCIP), the Club will deliver the project under the banner of the award-winning sport for change programme, Game On.  

Working in partnership with Wigan Athletic Community Trust, a coach will be appointed and funded to provide regular weekly training sessions for up to 40 girls aged 5-11 years old. Offering extra provision to those who are most interested, a further 80 girls will also have the chance to attend school holiday football camps, which will take place at Pennington Football Club.

With the objective to create three female junior football teams, volunteers from the Club will be recruited and given the opportunity to gain their coaching qualifications so that they can deliver the project when funding ends, providing a sustainable model for the future.

Kevin Doyley from Pennington Football Club, comments: “This is not the first time we have accessed funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and we cannot thank them enough for the support that they give.

“Extending our sessions to create three junior girls’ teams means that we are able to give even more young people the opportunity to learn new skills, to meet new people and to lead a more active life thanks to football.”

Lynn Utting, Development Manager (England) for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, comments: “We were really pleased to hear about the plans to extend the sessions at Pennington to include a focus on young girls that want to take part.

“Creating activities that promote inclusion and pass on the benefits of regular sporting activity to even more young people within our communities will also have a positive impact on the general heath and wellbeing of residents, which is one of our priorities for action.”

Kat Clarke, Development Manager (Game On England) for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, comments: “Since bringing back the Game On programme to England’s coalfield communities a year ago, we have been focusing on developing sessions throughout Yorkshire. With aspirations to develop it into a national programme, when the opportunity arose through CCIP to add further value and support this project it made perfect sense.”