IWW in Focus - Clubs and Leagues
As part of our International Women’s Week campaign, London FA would like to showcase some of the fantastic work local clubs and leagues are doing to offer opportunities to women and girls to get involved in grassroots football.
Bloomsbury FC and Girls Super League LDN.
Bloomsbury FC is a London FA Charter Standard Development Club with a brand-new girl’s provision in central London. They offer a variety of opportunities for girls to get involved and participate in football session at various locations. All girls are welcome, regardless of playing ability, and financial assistance is available through application. You can view the full programme here.
The Girls Super League London, beginning September 2021, is an opportunity for girls aged 7-15 to compete in a fun, inclusive and competitive environment, and will run on Saturdays at Westway Football, combatting the problems facing the women’s game around pitch availability, refereeing quality and standardisation of games. The Girls Super League London will provide an opportunity for the best U9 – U15 girls teams across London to compete against each other on a major stage. By partnering with Super 5s and Nike to launch the Girls Super League, Bloomsbury are ensuring that their league is sustainable, which is vital in continuing long-term female participation in football.
Starting on April 17th, the GSL is also hosting a series of tournaments for girls aged 7-16 at Westway Football, and teams that want to enter can register their interest on their website.
Doverhouse Lions FC was set up in 2006 in order to get young people off the streets and into a family environment where they could develop football and life-skills. They started off with one team and since then, have grown into an academy for kids aged 4-7 and teams from U8s to U18s.
Doverhouse Lions also have a brilliant girls’ offer which supports the club’s philosophy of providing children in their local community to play football to the best of their ability and developing skills they can take into every stage of their life. Daniel Sheehan, who coaches the girls at the club, stated in their recent documentary: ‘I have tried to encourage the girls not to worry about gender and I have done that for the reason I don’t want them to feel as if they are any better or any less than the boys. I want them to feel equal so that when we do play it is getting rid of that worry of oh they are boys whereas now it is all football players’.
Daniel also mentions the future plans they have for the girls set up, that the club is looking to retain and support the girls playing to stay at the club and continue as coaches. This can help to grow the girls offer throughout the ages groups and show the girls what they can gain from football.
You can watch the full documentary Who Cares Wins: The Doverhouse Lions Documentary can be viewed here. If you would like to contact Doverhouse Lions, you can do so at email@example.com
AFC Leyton Women and girls only football club based in East London. They are a Charter Standard Club and also a registered Charity. At only 5 years old, they have nearly 700 players across their sessions providing a safe, fun and structured approach to women and girls football. They are also one of London’s most diverse grassroots club, at 71% BAME and representing every religion. You can visit the world in one football session at AFC Leyton.
Girls participate with AFC Leyton from the age of 3, and they have no upper age limit. They never turn a player away no matter their age or ability and have something for everyone.
Their sessions include:
- Leyton Active & wildcats: providing fun pay and play sessions every week, these are mixed ability sessions for ages 3 to 16 years
- Leyton Active - Just Play: fun pay and play sessions every week for women aged 18+
- Mid-week Development: these are pre-league development sessions for budding players who are moving up to league
- League teams: We have 14 competitive teams that play in 3 leagues across London and Essex from ages 7 to adults.
- In school sessions also available.
Their website is packed with information on how to get involved as a player or with the club as coach, referee or committee member. You can visit them and take a look at what is on on offer on their website www.afcleyton.co.uk and you can also find them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok @afcleytonwomen #LeytonPlayStrong
Are you looking to find a club or get back into playing girls or women’s football? You can find local clubs, Wildcat centres and Just Play centres near you via our Women and Girls Mapping Tool.
If you are a club looking to implement a women and girls offer, the Female Football Toolkit is a fantastic resource and you can sign up for the next Female Friendly Clubs Training.
Looking for a league? If your team is looking for a league to join – please see details of existing leagues across London, and also new leagues coming in 2021/22 - Find a League
If you have any questions regarding women and girls football in London, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org