FURD's first female football festival is in full swing!
It kicked off on Tuesday 1st March when we teamed up with King Ecgbert's School to take eleven girls from years 7 and 8 to watch Sheffield United play Burton Albion. The tickets were donated by Sheffield United Community Foundation. For most of the (mainly Asian) group, it was their first match and they all enjoyed it, apart from the disappointing scoreline.
On Saturday 5th March, we held a women and girls' football and activity day to launch our new Saturday girls' football coaching and to engage some new women and girls with football and the facilities of the U-Mix Centre.
We had a great turnout for the girls' session, which is being delivered in partnership with Sheffield United Community Foundation. We had a small tournament after the coaching, and a kickabout for mums waiting for their daughters.
Our special guest for the day was former Nigerian international footballer Ayisat Yusuf-Aromire, who helped coach the girls and also ran a coaching session for beginners with some participants being women in their sixties.
Eva Egginton, Girl's, Women's and Inclusion Football Development Officer at Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA, joined us and ran a Zumba session with footballs. She also facilitated a very entertaining 'walking football' taster session.
A six-team adult 5-a-side tournament resulted in a victory for a FURD team (with a little help from our special guest!) FURD Veterans team, practising for the forthcoming FA People's Cup finals on 20th March, finished a respectable third.
We also celebrated International Women's Day with a special cake and entertainment from musical footballers Emma Peake, Sharon Leech and Sarah Choonara.
We are now holding free football coaching for girls in partnership with Sheffield United Community Foundation on Saturday mornings from 11am-midday at the U-Mix Centre. We also have a regular women and girls' football session here on Tuesdays from 6-7pm for age 10 upwards.
On Saturday evening, 5th March, we hosted the Sheffield premiere of the documentary film 'Balls, Barriers and Bulldozers' - the story of a women's football tour to the West Bank, Palestine. The film follows the Easton Cowgirls (from Bristol) and Republica Internationale (from Leeds) football teams as they travelled to Palestine in October 2014.
The women played football in Hebron, Ramallah, and Bethlehem. Alongside the unique experience of playing football with a wide variety of women from across the West Bank, the team heard stories and witnessed some of the daily realities for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
Members of the Republica team which featured in the film had played in the FURD tournament earlier in the day and stayed on to take part in a lively discussion with the audience about the film and their experiences.
The film can now be borrowed from the FURD library.
The night closed with a talk by our special guest Ayisat Yusuf-Aromire about her experiences as a female playing football in Nigeria and Finland, which was warmly received by the audience.
See the link below for the rest of the Female Football Festival programme.