On the back of a successful Women’s World Cup in Australia – female football participation numbers will continue to grow at a grassroots level.
Here are a few suggestions to make your club more friendly to females.
- Promote equality within the club:
Grassroots clubs can help to promote equality within their teams by treating female players the same as male players. This might include providing equal access to resources, such as training facilities and equipment, as well as ensuring that female players receive the same level of respect, guidance and support as their male counterparts. There is a growing need to develop infrastructure, such as changing rooms and toilet facilities that are equally as available to women as they are any other users within the club.
- Increase and seek out funding:
Investing in women’s football is incredibly important at your local club. In doing so, club infrastructure, player development, and overall quality of the game will improve. It is paramount to actively seek out funding opportunities, such as grants from governments/organisations, sponsorships, and donations that are targeted at women and girls. These can be found by researching the latest government funding initiatives at a local, state or federal level.
- Improve club-wide media coverage for women:
Giving women’s football the same level of media coverage as men’s football can help to raise its profile and attract more fans. This can be done through online stories on the club website, player feature pieces posted across social media and any other campaigns that the club is able to undertake throughout and around the season. Metrics show there are large increases in website traffic, social media engagement and other positive news stories when girls and women’s sport is profiled on your club website or other social media pages.
- Promoting the sport:
Encouraging more girls and women to play football can help to increase participation and create a larger talent pool. This might include hosting events in local schools, participating in local tournaments, and engaging with fans on social media. By encouraging community involvement, you may be able to increase your club membership and helping to sign up girls and women of all ages and abilities.
- Support from sponsors:
Securing specific sponsors for women’s football teams and leagues can provide additional funding and resources to help grow the sport. This may also allow you to connect with different sponsorship markets or partner organisations separate from men’s football. You may also find certain businesses may only give out sponsorship or donations if they know it is being used to support girls and women’s sport and you should plan out how these can be.
- Prioritize player development activities:
Grassroots clubs can help to support women’s football by focusing on player development. This might include providing coaching and training, as well as offering opportunities for players to participate in tournaments and matches. These are normally activated through girls and women’s only festivals, gender- specific coach education courses or promotional periods such as Girls & Women’s month and so on.
- Foster a positive club culture:
Grassroot football clubs can help to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for female players by fostering a positive club culture. This might include setting clear expectations around behaviour and communication, as well as promoting team-building activities that may take place throughout the season, or even the atmosphere and environment created at club functions.
- Celebrate successes:
Amateur clubs can help to promote women’s football by celebrating the successes of their female players and teams. This might include recognizing outstanding performances, sharing player stories on social media, and providing opportunities for players to showcase their skills to a wider audience, all of which will have a positive impact on the club’s image and credibility, as well as appealing to more members of your football community.
- Partner with other organisations:
Amateur clubs can help to support women’s football by partnering with other organisations, such as local schools, businesses, and sports clubs. This can help to create opportunities for players and increase visibility for the sport. You can target women’s associated brands or organisations that support women’s and girls’ activities or other gender- specific campaigns that align with your commitment to fostering a positive culture.