FA reviews Gameplan for Growth as programme concludes

15 May 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

The FA has begun a review into its Gameplan for Growth strategy, launched in 2017 to boost participation in women’s football.

The governing body for football in England says the strategy for women's and girls' football pledged to double the participation and fanbase in the game as well as seeking to create a high-performance system and talent pipeline for England teams. 

After four seasons, and with the strategy now concluding, The FA has looked at its journey to double participation, and has detailed its success in growing from having 6,000 affiliated teams to over 12,500 affiliated teams, the creation of new mini-soccer groups, and the growth in adult recreational groups across the country by 2020.

Louise Gear, Head of Women's Football Development, The FA - who joined the organisation in November 2017 with the remit of doubling women’s and girls’ participation by 2020, said in a blog post on the organisation’s website: “Change had to be sustainable, breaking down barriers to encourage new women and girls to play football, whilst retaining and valuing the thousands of existing participants. The plan we built was based around four pillars – places, programmes, people and profile.

“If more women and girls are playing the game, then they need places to play. Easy to say but much harder to execute and providing more places to experience football has been our top priority.

“We've worked to encourage the ‘see it, play it’ mantra across all age groups and formats of the game. This was best demonstrated during the Lionesses’ run to the FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-finals, where women of all ages and abilities were inspired to follow in our Lionesses’ footsteps and get outside and play.

“Attention now turns to the future, and we’ll be increasing our influence in schools, colleges and universities with national partners, Youth Sport Trust, Association of Colleges and BUCS. More details will be in the newly formed women’s football strategy, which will be launched at the start of the season.”