Girls-only courses expanding

by Stuart Vose

Summer course a success.

The Foundation of Light is celebrating the success of its first Girls’ Only soccer course which was held during summer holidays.

More than 20 female footballers aged five to 14 attended the two-day course at Crowtree Leisure Centre in Sunderland at the end of August as part of the charity’s Summer Fun programme.

Players participated in fun sessions and exercises focusing on skills, tactics and small sided games designed to develop strategy and technical ability.

Caroline Ames, Football Development Coach at the Foundation of Light, said: “We were overwhelmed by the turnout over what was a very successful two days.

“All of the girls enjoyed the course and we had very good feedback from the parents and grandparents about girls’ only sessions and have demand for more in the future.”

Mrs Loughlin, whose daughter Nadia attended the course, said: “Nadia has enjoyed this course and it has given her more confidence in herself. It’s great to see a team of children interacting and learning new skills.”

The Foundation of Light provides opportunities for young female footballers to progress to the Sunderland AFC Girls’ Centre of Excellence which aims to provide elite player development opportunities for female footballers aged 7-17 years.

One of only 31 FA licensed centres across the country, the Sunderland AFC Girls' Centre of Excellence is run in partnership with Gateshead College and is supported by Durham County Football Association.

The Centre will deliver a comprehensive training and coaching programme covering all areas and concepts of football, with the aim of providing opportunities for young players to develop playing careers at Sunderland Women with the potential to go on to represent England.

Earlier this year the Foundation launched its first Girls Only coaching sessions aimed specifically at getting more young girls involved in football and improving the quality of play throughout the girls’ game.

Caroline adds: “Although all Foundation of Light sessions are suitable for boys and girls we found that some girls would prefer to train and play only against other girls. The coaching style needed for young girls is slightly different too as they learn in different ways to young boys.

“Given the success of the Team GB’s Womens’ Team we’re anticipating more young girls wanting to take part in football.

“Even before the Olympics though the sessions were proving to be popular and we’re hoping for a growth in numbers in this new season.”

Evening Girls Only session details are about to be released, for more information about the sessions please call 0191 5515191 or email