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Spotify, She Plays Football & London City Lionesses Increase Girls' Football Participation

May 19, 2023 

Global digital music streaming service, Spotify, has joined with online training academy, She Plays Football and the London City Lionesses to provide “once-in-a-lifetime" opportunities to aspiring young female footballers. The partners want to increase the diversity of girls’ grassroots participation in football and specifically open football up for those currently underserved by expanding access to training sessions this summer. 

Launched on May 15 and continuing to the end of August, 16 weeks of free football training will be available for any girl in London that wants to try football for the first time or get training from fully UEFA B or C qualified coaches as part of Spotify’s She Plays Football campaign. The academy was created to provide girls aged 6 to 16 with an opportunity to succeed in football and intends to nurture and inspire the new generation of female footballers. The campaign will identify and highlight the gaps for young female footballers where they are the most underserved in the sport by working with local schools in the borough of Barnet. The program will also equip girls with developmental and performance tools to enjoy the game to the fullest. 

This initiative aligns with the UK Government’s March pledge to increase access to football for girls in schools across England. The effort was in response to an open letter last year from England’s Women’s National Football Team – better known as the Lionesses – to former ministerial contenders Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss following their historic UEFA European Championship win. The letter was signed by all 23 players and called for every girl in the nation to have the chance to participate in football at school after shocking statistics found that only 40% of secondary schools offer girls equal access to football via after-school clubs as boys.

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“Spotify’s partnership is a crucial step to ensure girls receive the highest standard of access to football ensuring a first-rate experience for all participants,” stated She Plays Football. Girls who attend the free sessions will also gain access to a free three-month subscription to She Plays Football’s digital resources which include strength and conditioning coaching, nutrition workshops and mental performance-based activities.

The free community training sessions are taking place every weekday from 4pm to 7pm at Powerleague Barnet with facilities provided in partnership with Middlesex University and the London Sports Institute. The sessions are being led by professional coaches and London City Lionesses’ players Karin Muya, Charlotte Fleming, Lily Agg and Atlanta Primus will make special appearances to inspire and motivate the girls. Selected girls will also have the opportunity to play in weekly mini-league matches at Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium every Sunday morning until July 16. 

Off the back of the community training program and summer activities, London City and She Plays Football will introduce a new club at the start of the grassroots football season on September 4. The ‘London City Strikers’ will consist of players aged 7 to 12 who will play in the London Captial Girls League and/or the Junior Premier League for the 2023/24 season. The academy is currently accepting signups for the free community football sessions.


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