PL Kicks Cup

PL Kicks inspiring girls to play the game they love

18 Aug 2022

Thirty-seven girls teams from around England and Wales take part in a day of competition in Nottingham

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Female footballers from across England and Wales gathered in Nottingham recently and showed how they have been inspired and encouraged to play through Premier League Kicks

Almost 300 players from 37 English Football League and National League clubs took part in the Premier League Kicks Cup, a celebration of how the PL programme engages with young people in local communities throughout the year.

Manchester United and England midfielder Lucy Staniforth, who watched the action in person, knows the impact events like this will have on the participants.

"You can see how far women's football has grown when you look around and you see all the girls in the proper football strips," she said.

"It's great that the Premier League have put something on like this as an opportunity for them to play football and enjoy themselves

"It's such an empowering thing for them, to be able to see other girls that play football."

Lucy Staniforth, Man Utd and England midfielder

"Days like this didn't exist when I was younger. It's such an empowering thing for them, to be able to see other girls that play football. The biggest thing is that the girls really enjoy and want to keep playing."

PL Kicks is the Premier League's current longest-running community programme, celebrating its 15th anniversary earlier this year.

Across the 2021/22 season, more than 21,000 females aged 8-18 took part in Premier League Kicks sessions across England and Wales of which 26 per cent of female participants are from diverse ethnic communities.

One person for whom PL Kicks has played a key role is Newcastle United Foundation's Sarah Burn, who played in the PL Kicks Cup in 2012 and is now the club's programme co-ordinator.

"I am a very emotional person when it comes to Kicks because without it, I wouldn't be where I am today," she said.

"I try to inspire and explain to other girls who join in our programme that this is where I came from, this is what I can do, and I see it happening to them. It's mind-blowing because it shows that we can have an impact.

"The girls who competed all had different barriers and challenges. So for them to come and be part of something and also represent Newcastle is a massive boost for their confidence and self-esteem."

Also in this series

Part 1: 'Premier League Kicks is bringing people together'
Part 2: How PL Kicks Cup gives young people the chance to shine
Part 4: 'PL Kicks Cup is life-changing for young people'
Part 5: 'PL Kicks shows that anyone can play football'

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