Surge in demand for women & girls’ football in run up to Women’s EURO matches

Image above: promotional image for the 2022 UEFA Women’s EUROs

Upcoming tournament accompanied by “massive increase” in demand in west London

There has been a surge demand in west London for women’s & girls’ football in the run up to the 2022 UEFA Women’s EURO games, hosted partly in Brentford Community Stadium.

Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, Chiswick School, Actonians LFC and Middlesex FA all said they have either already seen or are preparing for a significant increase in demand as the month-long tournament approaches.

The tournament starts on Wednesday 6 July with England v Austria at Trafford and continues all round the country, with matches at Brighton & Hove, Brentford, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Rotherham, Sheffield, Southampton, Wigan & Leigh and the final at Wembley on Sunday 31 July.

The four matches at Brentford’s Community Stadium will be on Friday 8 (Germany v Denmark), Tuesday 12 (Germany v Spain), Saturday 16 (Denmark v Spain) and Thursday 21 July (Winner of Group B v Runner-up of Group A).

UEFA’s ticketing site shows most games are already sold out, with limited availability for the match between Denmark and Spain.

Over 450,000 tickets have been sold for the tournament, which has already surpassed the previous tournament record of 240,045 set in the Netherlands in 2017.

Image above: Linda Fox – Committee Chair of Actonians LFC, girls group at Actonians LFC

Brentford hosting tournament will “surely only help to inspire more girls to get involved”

Linda Fox, Committee Chair of Actonians LFC, a football club for women & girls on Gunnersbury Drive, told The Chiswick Calendar there had been a marked increase in demand for women’s football since Brentford FC was announced as the tournament’s host.

“[We] expect this to continue throughout the tournament and after. We are putting on some extra taster sessions during July so anyone interested in playing can have a go and we have playing opportunities for ages 5-16.

“It’s really great to see the shift in perception over the last couple of years and how many girls now see football as a sport for them” she said.

“Having the EUROs on our doorstep will surely only help to inspire more girls to get involved.

“We are really excited to welcome anyone who would like to give it a try or get back to playing again.”

Actonians LFC are hosting the free football taster sessions for girls aged 8-16 every Thursday in July 2022 at Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub between 6.00pm and 7.00pm. All abilities are welcome. Further information is available on their website or via email at info@actonianslfc.com.

Image above: promotional photo of Brentford FCCST Wildcats team

Local schools benefit from expanded training sessions

Brentford FCCST have expanded their programme of training sessions in response to the increased demand. Working in partnership with Brentford FC, the Trust offers a portfolio of programmes in education, employability, sports participation, health and community engagement.

The Trust has linked up with several schools across the boroughs of Hounslow, Ealing and Richmond for one-off events or regular training sessions on school grounds. A spokesperson for Brentford FCCST said they hope these sessions will encourage women & girls to either attend the Euros in person or watch the matches on TV.

Up to 400 girls were already attending Brentford FCCST sessions before the build-up to the Euros, but the Trust said nearly 600 girls have interacted with them over the past few months, expanding their reach to around 1,000 girls across west London.

Chiswick School told The Chiswick Calendar there had been a “very big increase” in girls’ football sessions 2022 and said this wasn’t just because of the upcoming matches, alluding to the increasing popularity of women’s football generally.

Above: Middlesex FA London Legacy Programme on YouTube

‘London Legacy Programme’ hopes to provide 500,000 football opportunities for women and girls

Middlesex FA said they’ve been preparing for increased demand leading up to and off the back of the UEFA Women’s EURO for the last 18 months through the launch of their ‘London Legacy Programme’.

The National programme, which is working with all of the UK’s host cities, hopes to achieve equal access for all girls to play football in school and clubs; diverse workforce of coaches, referees and local leaders delivering and organising football for their communities.

Its aim is for there to be inclusive safe and welcoming environments for every woman and girl to play competitive or recreational grassroots football, irrespective of ability, disability, age or ambition.

The programme hopes to offer 500,000 new football opportunities to engage women and girls across UEFA Women’s EURO host cities by 2024, including:

  • 120,000 more girls regularly playing football in schools and clubs
  • 300 new FA-qualified female coaches – that’s double the current number in our host cities
  • 1,000 women and girls completing the entry-level FA Playmaker Award to make football happen
  • 350 new FA-qualified female referees
  • 20,000 more women playing football for fun, fitness and friendship

Image above: the welcome sign in Brentford

LB Hounslow adds new signage to welcome fans

A welcome sign has been placed next to the Brentford Community Stadium for the teams of Denmark, Spain and Germany who are set to play their group games locally.

Hounslow Council’s Cabinet Member for Parking, Parks and Leisure Services, Councillor Salman Shaheen, said:

“I am proud that London will be a host city for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 and it is so inspiring to see the new signage, showcasing Hounslow’s central role in the tournament. Football fever has definitely started and the entire borough is eagerly anticipating the first game. We warmly welcome everyone that will visit us over the coming weeks.”

The FA’s Head of Tournament Delivery, Chris Bryant said:

“We have an exciting few weeks ahead and a fantastic opportunity for football fans to experience some of the world’s very best players on their doorstep.

“As we look ahead to the opening match, excitement across the country is growing at an incredible rate. Anyone who hasn’t got a ticket still has a chance to get involved and show their support for what is already a huge history-making moment for women’s football.”

Read more stories in The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Tributes for Peter Brook, world renowned theatre director who came from Chiswick

See also: The Proud Project – New Pilates studio in Chiswick

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.