Encouraging Girls To Play Football With KickerBall - Stay Active Ambassador

AD Unsurprisingly after England's amazing Euro Championship win there has been a lot of talk recently about women’s football. It has made me realise just how long it takes change to filter through from grassroots to championship level.  As Stay Active Ambassadors I want to encourage my children to be more active. The combination of the Euro win and this month's review of a KickerBall got me thinking about my families experience of playing football and just how big the challenges are to getting more girls playing football. 

A girl holding a football under her arm and walking away from camera
It's easy for girls to lose interest in playing football

Girl's Football At School

My eldest is really sporty and loves to be active, but at 10 years old she has already been put off playing football. Her school run after-school clubs each term we can sign up to at a significantly lower cost than private clubs, these range from Science club to gymnastics and multi-sports. In Year 1 M chose the football club and happily enjoyed playing once a week. Most of the children who signed up were boys, but there were enough girls she didn’t feel out of place. The next term she signed up again and this time there was only one other girl and when they stopped going M dropped out too because she didn't want to be the only girl.

Of course if she absolutely loved football she would have kept going, but for an activity she just enjoyed she didn’t want to feel isolated. It's not just in supervised classes boys are more likely to play football though. Boys (at her school and most schools in my experience) tend to play football at break times while girls often run around playing other games or chat. This increases the skills divide because through regular practice those boys get gradually better so if a girl decides to have a kick around with them by age 8 or 9 they often feel they aren’t as good and can lose interest. Our school has tried to promote girls playing football by getting a team together, but it has been hard to generate enough interest.

A girl dressed in blue dribbling a orange and white football round a blue cone
Practising ball skills with KickerBall

A girl running after a ball they have kicked between two cones

Playing Football With Family And Friends

It's a shame that girls can be put off playing football because it should be one of the most accessible sports. I’m not dismissing the huge amount of skill and practice that goes into being really good at it, but if you are in the park, garden or even at the beach it is such an easy way to be active. You just need to have a ball and you can play. You don’t even need other people to practice ball skills, but if other people come along and want to join in, great, it’s easy to scale up to a group with just that one ball (and maybe a few goal posts which can be made from jumpers, water bottles or even flower pots).

While it may be hard to motivate my eldest daughter to play football, my younger children are more interested and we often have a ball in the car in case the opportunity arises. As my youngest gets older and he understands you are meant to kick the ball rather than grab it and run off I think we will play far more. 

a 6 year old girl holding KickerBall in it's packaging in front of a brick wall
KickerBall review from Stay Active

KickerBall Review

My football skills are pretty basic and I don't remember playing after I left primary school, but my partner has years of experience playing with his friends and in youth clubs. He can do quite a few tricks, but now we have a trick up our sleeves with Stay Active’s KickerBall. The ball by Swerve Ball curves more than an ordinary football meaning it is easier to swerve through the air. It’s a great ball for those getting into football and can quickly increase children’s confidence. 

KickerBall is suitable for children age 6 and up. It’s not a FIFA certified soccer ball and can’t be used for formal matches, but it’s great fun for playing with friends and family. It’s roughly a size 4 football which are generally used by children aged 9 to 11. The packaging gives no clue as to why it swerves more than normal, but my partner has suggested it’s a combination of it’s lightness and the matt material which slows the ball down slightly as it travels. Sounds feasible. Regardless of how it works it’s fun and a good way to get children playing football. 

You can buy KickerBall from Smyths,  Amazon and in supermarkets.

A girl smiling holding an orange and white kickerball under her arm
There is a lot to change still, but the future of Women's football is looking bright

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