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Getting girls into football and sport: Q&A with England vice-captain and Arsenal star Alex Scott - ANSWERS BACK

(57 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 20-Aug-13 16:30:17

Have you got a soccer-mad daughter? Do you want to find out what opportunities there are for her to get into playing football and what it's like to be a semi-professional woman footballer?

Alex Scott, who plays for Arsenal Ladies and is England vice-captain, will answer your questions and share her experiences and insights. Alex is one of the most decorated players in women's football. She currently plays for Arsenal Ladies but has previously played for Birmingham and for the Boston Breakers in the US.

This Q&A is sponsored by Continental Tyres, which is also an official sponsor of The FA Women's Super League (WSL).

The WSL runs from March to October and gives footie fans across England the chance to see elite women's football at local stadiums for affordable prices.

At selected matches across England, there are free interactive fan zones, run in association with Continental Tyres, with family-friendly activities from testing football skills on a speed goal to face painting and meeting the stars of the WSL.

Continental Tyres are giving away 50 family season tickets for the rest of 2013 and the whole of the 2014 season, so that you can enjoy a family-friendly day out or after-school event at your local WSL club. Enter the prize draw here.

Please post your question to Alex by noon on Monday 26 August. We'll pick 20 questions to send over to her and post her replies on Monday 2 Sept.

Thank you.

FourGates Tue 20-Aug-13 16:49:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

My daughter plays for an u11 squad in a centre of excellence. Which country worldwide do you think is the most advanced with regards to young girls football development? And why?

aristocat Wed 21-Aug-13 00:10:05

My daughter would like to ask who was your inspiration (sporting or otherwise) please?

IKnewHouseworkWasDangerous Thu 22-Aug-13 10:35:15

With the ever increasing amount of mens football on tv, and the number of sports channels to fill, why dont we see more womens football on tv?

Or

Should every team with an academy be made to run a womens team so that girls can see a long term future in the sport for them too?

biryani Thu 22-Aug-13 12:24:25

My daughter is footie-mad. We live in a city with a Premier League team. However getting girls to play, especially those of around 10/11/12, is a problem here. Consequently, forming and sustaining a team of girls is a real issue.

My question is: why can't girls play alongside boys? They are about the same size, have similar levels of fitness, and are at least as tough, in my experience.

gazzalw Thu 22-Aug-13 12:36:44

I still think that a lot of parents (and possibly me included) are still locked into gender-stereotypes regarding sports blush. I know the primary schools seem to do a lot to ensure that sports such as football and tag rugby encompass girls in the teams as much as boys but somehow once they get to secondary school, the girls don't generally seem to be as keen on playing any sports let alone ones like football....

It therefore seem to me that although the FA's WSL it doing a good job at changing these outdated attitudes, there's still some way to go. It's a bit depressing...

How did you get and stay involved? Did you get sponsorship? Were you nurtured in your football talents from a very young age?

And does Arsenal have a more progressive approach to women's football than many of the other 'big' clubs?

Thanks!

GladbagsGold Thu 22-Aug-13 14:23:51

My DD likes playing football and plays alongside boys for now, but she is only 6. She won Player of the Week trophy on a recent football course much to dismay of the strapping older boys including her big brother!

Congratulations on the Olympics - on the team's results and also in raising the profile of women's football. I was lucky enough to go to a match between Canada and France and it was brilliant. Except that it wasn't GB playing wink

I'd like to know what your best memory of the Olympics is please?

BackforGood Thu 22-Aug-13 15:21:11

I think there's a real 'chicken and egg' problem with lack of TV coverage for women's football - it was great to see the Euros being the exception - but with so little women's football being shown on mainstream TV, then people don't get to watch it, and see what a good standard it is, so don't get the chance to 'get into it', and therefore want to watch it.
How do you think we can get more publicity for the game, so therefore get more people taking it seriously ?

and

Why do we have to travel all the way to Stratford to watch BIRMINGHAM City ladies - it's not like the City itself has a shortage of pitches.....

ninilegsintheair Thu 22-Aug-13 16:23:00

My DD is 2 and a half and enjoys football (which is great as both me and her Dad are footy mad grin). I played one of the big women's football sides as a teenager in the early 2000's and loved it - I left my club when I went across the country to go to university where there was no local team and the university football team involved nothing but drinking and dares of running through town naked. sad

We're already finding that little boys her age don't want to play 'pretend' football with her, which is a shame. Given that my DD's too little to really play football as a sport yet, how can I help her develop the kinds of skills that would be useful as a player? How do I nurture and encourage her? And what encourgaed YOUR love of the game from an early age?

By the way gladbagsGold - I was also at the Canada v France game! Great day out wasn't it! grin

ninilegsintheair Thu 22-Aug-13 16:23:38

I played *for one, not just played against them. blush

scrappydappydoo Thu 22-Aug-13 17:03:04

Interesting - we are not a football family - no-one watches or plays football except my 5 yr old dd who really enjoys playing at an after school football club. She is one of two girls in a club of over 60 children. She always has a great time and was awarded player of the term. However we have a frequent battle to get her there because she doesn't like being the only girl in her group. It appears to be the same in all the other local clubs - very high number of boys and 1 or 2 girls which is very intimidating. Not being a footballing family I have no clue how to handle this or where to go to get information or help and dd is on the verge of giving up not because she doesn't like playing but because of confidence issues. Any advice?

Rooners Thu 22-Aug-13 17:38:51

Hi there.

I wanted to ask, have things really changed now?

I hope so, when I was at primary I was playing football with the boys and was told to stop, as it was not for girls, I got a proper telling off, told I was being silly, I'd get hurt, not to be so naughty.

I never played it again - and then I got into cricket, and tried playing that when I was about 14/15 and nobody would take me seriously.

I gave up in the end. Today we were at the cricket ground, looking through the gate and all that was happening was a ladies' best dressed competition hmm

I couldn't believe it sad

Is that still how women are seen in trad male sport - as decorative accessories to the men, who don't actually care about the game?

I hope that these days women, or girls, are taken seriously in football, cricket, in every sport and not taken the mickey out of until they just quit. But I'm not sure it isn't just as difficult now to be allowed to join in on equal terms.

Rooners Thu 22-Aug-13 17:39:57

Mind you it's the same getting ds2 into gymnastics. People keep trying to put us off. It's barmy. And very sad sad

BackforGood Thu 22-Aug-13 17:54:24

Rooners, my dd2 (11, just finishing Yr6) has been playing a lot through school - leagues, cups, indoor, outdoor, Winter and Summer Leagues, and she's been playing for the Schools District side for last too years as well. So there are pockets of good practice. HOWEVER, there are a lot of schools that don't play, and I know when my 13 yr old last year asked me to find her a team to play for - as there was nothing happening at her secondary school - it took me 5 months to find a team. That's in a big city. The County FA were useless for girls teams information, really hopeless sad

BackforGood Thu 22-Aug-13 17:54:46

*two, not too blush

Rooners Thu 22-Aug-13 18:00:25

So sorry to hear that BFG. It sounds awful.

Oblomov Thu 22-Aug-13 21:29:36

Arsenal ladies seem to be way ahead of Chelsea and every other premier league ladies club. But I can't work out why. Why do you think that is?
I do not think that ladies should play alongside boys. At aged 11 / 12 , as some posters have mentioned. I think the differences are too much.therefore I can only assume that these ages of girls need more support/ opportunities.

StainlessSteelBegonia Thu 22-Aug-13 22:24:54

I'm Canadian, and where I'm from soccer (along with softball) is THE game for girls and young women. I was surprised to discover that in the UK, soccer is for boys only (at least, my daughter was the only girl enrolled in the toddler footy classes, and now one of just a couple in her primary afterschool football club). I still haven't found "the" UK girls sport.

Are there any team sports "for girls" in the UK, or is it all ballet or bust?

RhondaJean Thu 22-Aug-13 22:26:29

My 8 year old has just started training and playing with the local pro teams associated girls team. I would really appreciate any tips on how to keep her interested, she's as keen as mustard just now.

Thanks.

fffinsake Fri 23-Aug-13 06:04:49

Do you think, in order to encourage girls to the sport or for any other reasons, there should be specific provision for girls from childhood onwards? Or do you think more should be done to teach sport in an inclusive way in schools? Much as it seems wrong to me to have segregation, if it's going to get women into playing then it has to be worthwhile.

AnyoneButLulu Fri 23-Aug-13 11:24:53

Coincidentally I started a thread just the other day saying that I'd love to see a past or present England women's football player on Strictly Come Dancing, taking the opportunity to talk about life in the game to the show's huge audience of tween girls. I think all sports benefit from a bit of soap opera talking up the personalities involved.

I would just like to say Hi, I am a 40 something woman who is a professional football coach trained by the FA who used to play somewhat over 20 year ago for a football club, my biggest regret is not having went on to referee!!

NonnoMum Fri 23-Aug-13 20:33:14

Just to let you know my daughter really enjoyed watching Team GB at Wembley during the Olympics. I don't think she thinks of it as a boys sport at all.

I have made enquiries about her joining a club but it will cost £100 a season!! is this normal for under 8s?

BackforGood Fri 23-Aug-13 23:56:02

Sounds expensive, but depends on whether that is everything, or just part of what you pay out.
If you are paying £2.50 / £3 a week it doesn't sound as much but would work out the same - then some clubs provide all the kit and the registrations, etc., others want you to pay a registration fee separately. Clubs have quite a lot to pay out - they have to pay the refs, pitch hire, league / cup registration fees, coaches have to go on courses (coaching courses, Safeguarding, First Aid) and also there are CRBs to do, then there's the training pitch or gym - it starts to add up.

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