More than a game

Christiansen: Premier League Kit Scheme removes barriers for young girls

28 Feb 2024

Former Lionesses star Izzy Christiansen makes surprise primary school visits to hand out kit that makes football more accessible

Related Articles
Premier League and Nike to provide free kits for girls’ teams
How Chelsea helped Ruby become 'heart of the classroom'
Fara Williams sees girls' football grow thanks to PL funding

Feeling comfortable in your own skin can be challenging enough growing up, and for millions of young girls, feeling uncomfortable wearing ill-fitting football kits is an all-too familiar experience for many.

As an aspiring young footballer, former England and Manchester City star Izzy Christiansen faced those same difficulties of having to wearing boys' kit in training and matches with shirts, shorts and socks that didn't quite fit properly.

When the opportunity arose to surprise young girls at Oldfield Brow Primary School and her old primary school, Rainow, Christiansen jumped at the chance to hand out football kit as part of the Premier League Kit Scheme, run in partnership with Nike, as part of the More than a game campaign.

The Kit Scheme aims to encourage more young girls across England and Wales to participate in football, and so far by providing 4,000 free kits, highlights Premier League’s continued commitment to increasing numbers even more.

"Delivering the kit is the most heart-warming experience," said Christiansen, who was also a Treble-winner with Lyon during an illustrious playing career.

Oldfield Brow Primary PL-Nike kit4
Rainow PLPS Kit 2

"The girls were just super excited. This Premier League scheme is so important because it gives the girls an opportunity to play in kit which they feel comfortable in, and you'd never want any barriers to them participating in football when they're growing up.

"I was wearing boys' football kit when I was younger, so for the girls to have their own football kit coming out on to the pitch today, it's just amazing."

Christiansen, who took part in training sessions at both schools, posed for photos with the girls and the Premier League Trophy which was taken to both schools, before asking the girls some questions of her own, including how the new kit made them feel.

Rainow PL Trophy

Answers ranged from, ''My new football kit makes me feel almost unstoppable!'' to "It makes me feel like girls can do anything." The general consensus was clear - and a resounding "Yes!" - having properly fitted football kit and being comfortable is vitally important to engage young girls who want to play football.

"If you've got the right kit, you've got the right uniform, then you're going to feel confident, you're going to feel happy and I think will give them that extra motivation," added Sam Evans, a teacher at Oldfield Brow primary school in Altrincham.

"You can see how enthused and inspired the girls are seeing a role model like Izzy, who's been to the top of the sport. They can dream and they can envision themselves in that position one day."

Oldfield Brow Primary PL-Nike kit1

Lucy Crowther, who teaches at Rainow, in Macclesfield, believes the Premier League Kit Scheme will inspire and encourage even more young girls to continue playing football.

"We've definitely seen an increase in the girls' football team since the success of the Lionesses, so having the Premier League kit dropped off at our school today has created a really memorable experience for our children," said Crowther.

"It's given them the confidence, that sense of ownership of being part of the team."

With the support of the Kit Scheme and the Premier League's ongoing commitment to helping the growth of girls' and women's football, Christiansen is optimistic the future looks bright - and hopefully more comfortable to navigate - for millions of aspiring young girl footballers.

"I was scouted by Manchester United, who asked the head teacher at this school [Rainow] for my parents' phone number. That's how my football journey began," she added.

"The difference between when I was at school and now, just as we can see, the amount of girls playing, the amount of girls in kit - for them to go on and perhaps be a future England player, who knows?"

Premier League Kit Scheme

The Premier League Kit Scheme has returned in 2024, giving primary school teachers the opportunity to apply for free Nike football kit for their girls’ teams.

It has been included in the rollout of Active Allies, a Premier League scheme which wants to help instil positive behaviours in children by growing self-belief in girls and inspiring allyship in boys - so football can be truly everyone's game.

Video messages from England players Chloe Kelly and Mason Mount are available for assemblies in primary schools; along with interactive resources for teachers designed by experts to encourage discussion and inspire action across all participating primary schools.

Primary schools in England and Wales can access the Active Allies educational resources by signing up to Premier League Primary Stars.

Latest Videos

More Videos