Girls in a training session

Girls & Goals League Receive Lincolnshire FA RESPECT Award


After receiving the award, Girls & Goals expressed their pride by releasing the following comments.

The Girls & Goals League is incredibly proud to have been awarded the RESPECT Award for February 2020. Upon the creation of the Girls & Goals League at the beginning of the 2019/20 season we aimed to provide a safe, fun, friendly and flexible offer to young female footballers in Lincolnshire, providing them with the best possible first time experience, helping them to develop a lifelong love of our game. 

Our aim was not only to develop the experience and number of females playing mini soccer but to create links across all aspects of football within the County FA to enhance the footballing experience for young female and disabled referees, new coaches in the female game and create a positive side line experience for parents.

The Girls & Goals League Festivals were established; 7 festivals throughout a season, once a month on a Saturday morning at a central location with U8 & U10 age groups running alongside each other. Developed in consultation with prospective member clubs, managers, parents and players, giving them absolute ownership of the offer we would provide, the County FA took a flexible approach to sign on restrictions, playing format, entry fees and league rules to ensure that the model was the best fit for those that it impacted most.

Each festival is attached to an FA or CFA Initiative, providing a platform not only for the girls to play but also to develop as individuals and learn about wider aspects of the game; festival themes have included Rainbow Laces Campaign, Women’s Football Weekend, RESPECT Campaign, New Female Referees and a Cup Competition. 

The February Festival was where the RESPECT message was at the forefront of the event, and recognised by all involved. We had 17 teams involved on the day with the following clubs regularly involved in the competition: Barton Juniors, Bourne Town, Boston United, Deeping United, Grimsby Borough, Gainsborough Trinity, Cleethorpes Town, Louth Old Boys, Ropsley Colts, Marshall Sports, Hykeham Town, Stamford Daniels, Sleaford Town and Epworth Colts. 

The competition regularly sees players shake hands at the beginning and at the end of the game as always, but more importantly clubs are proactive and should others be short on numbers are really keen to loan players to ensure a fair and level playing field, no club should be left out if they are a couple of players short giving all girls as many opportunities as possible to play with as few barriers as possible. 

The February festival also gave 14 new female referees a chance to have their very first experience in officiating competitive football – all teams, managers, parents and players consistently showed the ethos of the RESPECT campaign which contributed to providing the best possible experience for the new officials. 

The quantitative data collected and more importantly, the feedback received has exceeded all expectations. We have seen a growth of 248 registered players across two age groups, which continues to rise, developed 14 new female referees to support the festivals and seen a spike in interest in the Wildcats Programme, increasing our centres by 65% going into the next delivery window. The feedback from players, coaches, officials and clubs has been incredibly positive and is something that we are extremely proud of.

“It’s been fantastic for our girls who currently wouldn't have the option to play against other teams. You have done an amazing job. My lot are absolutely loving it & wanting more. You’re doing an amazing job for girls’ football in Lincolnshire so be proud.” – Emma, Deeping United.

“It's great to see the growth that is going on in girls’ football.  Keep up the good work - there has been more happen for my girls in these past 6 months than the previous 6 years” – Gary, Cleethorpes Town.

“Thank you for another well organised tournament. My daughter Evie & her team mates really enjoyed it. She even scored her first goal.” – Parent, Bourne Town.

We completed player feedback surveys at our mid-season festival, allowing us to collect the views of young people and act upon them going forwards. Of the responses collected 100% said that they enjoy the festivals. Some of the things that they enjoy most are; the friendly atmosphere helping them develop, seeing their friends, getting active, having fun, playing lots of games and working together. We are immensely proud of how far we have come in a short space of time and the RESPECT Award is the icing on the cake!

To find out more about the Girls & Goals League, please CLICK HERE