Mead, Bronze and Daly are some of the names on the score sheet from Englands last international match. If you were expecting Kane, Rashford or Sterling, don’t worry, this was the England Women’s team.
This weekend BYSA took its Girls Academy members to National Football Center, St Georges Park, giving them the chance to get the professional footballer experience. This was a rare opportunity for them to see life as a Pro Footballer, getting training, eating from the food plan and seeing the health & fitness facilities.
The day started with a tour of the facilities, where the kids were shown all the facilities that the players use and they learned about some of the history of the game. An important side of being a professional is the mental side and the coaches gave insights on what it means to be a professional footballer. They then received a 90-minute training session by the coaching team who put them through their paces on the same training facilities that the England team would use. The Girls also enjoyed lunch in the same suite as the players do who train at St Georges.
This trip is an important part of the current strategy for BYSA who are committed to increasing female participation in sports. They have invested time in getting this project to where it is today by getting the coaching team qualified. Their coaching team sets up weekly sessions for girls to have a go at football and it has not been an easy journey.
Head Coach Amina Begum commented ‘Over the last 2 years we have spent a lot of time raising awareness in our local community and we are seeing a positive response from both the girls and their parents. We are all about sport being fun, but today has been great for the girls to get an idea of what they could do, should they choose to take this on more seriously.’
BYSA have high hopes for their girls project and hope to be in a position soon to start playing competitive football very soon. They blessed to have a team of volunteers who are running the girls section through its early stages. They are also thankful for the support their receive from organisations such as the FA and the team at St Georges. They gave the girls a memorable day and gave them all goodie bags to take home with them as well.
The session has definitely had an impact on the girls;
‘…We had an amazing day today and got to see where the England team train and also the signature board of world class players…’
Eliza Majid, aged 13
‘… Really enjoyed the tour and the chance to get coached by the FA coaches…’
Sophia Arshad, aged 12
‘… It was fantastic, can’t believe we actually got to play in the same place where the England team are coached…’
Nadya Khan, aged 14
BYSA have a number of projects lined up for 2019 that will benefit their members. In 2019, off the field, they kicked off both Mentoring and Education Programme’s for kids who are going into secondary education.