18 reasons girls should play football #SSEWomensFACup #TogetherWeCan

Women’s football is gaining in popularity and for the first time this year, the hotly contested SSE Women’s FA Cup semi finals were aired on terrestrial television. But even at the grassroots level, football can do amazing things for the girls in our lives. We hosted a Twitter conversation about how football inspires positive change for girls on the field, at the stadium, in the workplace and at school. The #TogetherWeCan chat was sponsored by SSE, which supports the SSE Wildcats football programme. The programme gives the chance for young girls a platform to shine.

What parents see in girls’ & women’s football

We asked our readers to share their experiences and tips for celebrating women and girls football as well as how it can affect positive change for girls.

That extends to the professional game as well: Arsenal and Chelsea will be competing in the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final on 5 May 2018, which promises to be a great family outing to a fantastic football match. What a moment for families to see elite female athletes performing at a top level.

What’s more, kids can attend this season’s Final for FREE (!), with adult tickets costing £15 and concessions priced at £5 -you can get tickets here

A picture from last year’s SSE Women’s FA Cup Final match between Birmingham City Ladies and Manchester City Women at Wembley Stadium (Photo by Stephen Pond – The FA/The FA via Getty Images) 

Can girls play football?

Of course they can. Football is a great sport for keeping the kids fit and healthy, teaching them technical skills as well as teamwork.

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I think boys do somehow feel they have the monopoly sometimes on “physical” stuff. My friend’s daughter was told by a boy at school she couldn’t be Batman. Um, she can be anything she wants, thanks! @angep1969

I was encouraged by boys to get involved at sport at uni – ahead of their times methinks but good to see things changing now @kateonthinice

I like her playing football as she happily joins in with the boys even if she is wearing a pretty dress 🙂 @Goriami

I hope girls playing football will challenge the narrative of getting dirty, running around and being assertive as male territory @StressedofDevon

My Brother was the one who taught me how to play and the different ways to kick — memories I will never forget @StarCrackers

Love how times and sports are changing! It shouldn’t be about gender, just skills, passion and enjoyment! @Tantrums2Smiles

What playing football gives girls

It’s great for helping them keep active [and build] team spirit, confidence and pride @rootsandwings1

I think team spirit and friendship is so important and often overlooked in favour of fitness benefits @missielizzieb

Football has an important role to play in teaching our little girls it’s okay to be competitive. What they learn on the field they will take into the classroom and beyond @StressedofDevon

Playing football feels like fun rather than ‘exercise’ so it’s a great way to get active and learn to work as a team. @TheBeesleyBuzz

Football teaches girls to be body positive, enjoying what their body can do above what their body may look like. Strong is beautiful! @StressedofDevon

SSE Wildcats

My daughter went to a day of football excellence with Liverpool when she was quite new at her school. She was shy and quiet. I believe it helped build relationships. Fast forward 18 months and she’s currently on her first overnight residential trip! @JanTweetsTweets

I like how sports paradoxically teaches both self-reliance and teamwork. I think girls get less of team sports than boys…thus fewer of the benefits @JHowze

My two daughters (7 and 5) took up football at the start of the year. Their concentration level has improved remarkably, Also gaining transferable skills useful for better negotiating day-to-day living, such as increased self-esteem @StevieY

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Oh absolutely! The team-building relationships, the discipline, it can only grow a personality. For my daughter, she keeps telling me what she needs for a balanced diet and how it feeds her body @JanTweetsTweets

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My daughter is 7 and plays football. It’s taught her to be strong and confident, to be vocal, and most importantly, that she’s equal. I’ve watched her grow whilst doing football training, last year she won her first cup! @jasmin_glitter

Tips for parents and their little footballers

Always take wet wipes. They are a lifesaver, especially if it is a muddy day and kids want a snack at half time with muddy hands. @ShellyWKD

Yes and a drawstring bag or carrier bag for mucky boots to go in so it saves the car being covered in little chunks of mud and grass LOL! @Tantrums2Smiles

Discover the SSE Wildcats

SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Centres provide girls aged 5-11 with regular opportunities to play football. The initiative offers organised sessions in a fun and engaging environment created exclusively for girls. 

More than 200 clubs were piloted across England in 2017 and the scheme is now being extended to more than 900 centres with 26,000 participants across the country. Find your nearest SSE Wildcats football centre here

Alongside the football for girls activities, there will also be opportunities for the attending parents, carers and siblings to engage with sport in ‘Family Sessions’, e.g. Soccercise/Walking football at the same time.

Girls love football too!

I’ve loved football since I was 9 – had a season ticket with my dad for years! @dizzymermaid100

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I used to enjoy playing when I was younger. I can see my girls following in my footsteps too! @lauislucky

Interested in girls and women’s football? Check out what’s going on with the #TogetherWeCan inspirational campaign!

Really inspired by today’s chat Going to try a free Wildcats session and book tickets to on 5th May! @missielizzieb

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We went to a women’s international game and it was fab. Every bit as good as the boys (and probably less rolling around/gamesmanship!) @angep1969

The SSE Women’s FA Cup Final returns to Wembley for a fourth consecutive year. This year sees a repeat of the 2016 final as Arsenal W.F.C take on Chelsea L.F.C. If you cannot get to Wembley in person, the finals will also be shown live on BBC One at 5.30pm.

Congratulations to all the teams that took part in this years Women’s FA Cup for sending an empowering and inspirational message to our children and to help to grow women and girls’ football domestically. We salute you!

SSE Wildcats

Does a girl in your life play football or has your family experienced the women’s game? Tell us your experiences, tips and stories in the comments below!

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