TORQUAY United Community Sports Trust is very proud to have been selected as a funded partner in an exciting new project designed to increase sporting engagement and participation for women and girls aged between 11 and 19 years.

TUCST has received a grant from the National League Trust as part of a programme funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust and we have formulated a project called ‘Girls United’ to achieve the aims of creating female role models, providing more opportunities for women and girls, improving confidence and opening pathways for progression in playing, coaching and working within sport.

The National League Trust is a partnership between the National League, the Premier League and the Professional Footballers’ Association. Wembley National Stadium Trust have contributed £100,000 towards this pilot programme involving National League clubs. The programme will run until November 2019 and it is hoped this will lead to future funding for women and girls’ projects.

From a TUCST perspective, our ambitions for Girls United is to engage with women and girls from 11 – 19 through football, as this age range has been identified as having a huge drop-out rate, with girls turning away from football and sport.

It is not just about playing football or being involved in sport, but also opening potential doors to Sports Leader awards, voluntary work, coaching badges and maybe a future career working in the sports industry. The project aim is to create female role models within sport and we are very proud of the staff already working in TUCST.

Inclusion Manager Emma Potter has introduced a range of programme to improve the health, wellbeing and aspirations of people across all sectors of our community and, moving forward, Emma is working on her coaching badges.

Our Girls Lead Officer Cody Levell is working on her Level 2 coaching badge and has made a great success of the girls only football courses for youngsters at Primary School age, introducing a number of girls to football for the first time.

As part of Girls United, we are running a minimum of three separate sessions, working inside schools and also a Tuesday evening programme for girls aged from 13 – 17 years. This is open to anyone, whether they have played football before or not, and designed to be about social engagement.

We are delighted to be partnering King Edward VI Community College in Totnes for an after-school club, which has now been running for four weeks and it is fantastic to see the numbers up to 24 participants at the last count.

The third programme is planned for Brixham College, with the aim of starting in January and another after-school club to encourage more girls into football. Spreading Girls United across three different locations in South Devon ensures our programme is reaching as many communities as possible.

To find out more about Girls United, please contact 01803 322551 or email admin@torquayunited.com