To mark International Women’s Day, the Chelsea Foundation today announced a new initiative that will give 5,000 young girls their first football experience.
The commitment was showcased at today’s Chelsea Foundation event in Kingsmeadow, ‘Nothing Stops Us’, where 400 local schoolgirls took part in fun football activities and workshops at the stadium.
The women-only ‘Nothing Stops Us’ event took place before the Women’s Super League match between Chelsea FC Women and Brighton & Hove Albion Women, where the schoolgirls received free tickets to the match.
The event consisted of soccer drills and challenges, along with educational and health and wellbeing sessions, including women’s empowerment and workshops, led by partners Kingston Mind and Nike, who also donated sports bras to the students.
The day, when Chelsea FC staff took time out to volunteer at the event, culminated with a walking football match between the Chelsea and Brighton walking football teams.
The initiative, which is made available to 5,000 young girls each year, was implemented by Chelsea Foundation coaches working directly in local primary schools, initially in south-west London and Surrey.
The Chelsea FC Foundation already offers a whole range of opportunities in women’s football, with women-focused programs taking place each week in colleges and development centres, including a center for emerging talent in Carshalton, to address the lack of high-level opportunities for girls from within the boroughs that want to advance their game.
Simon Taylor, Head of the Chelsea Foundation, said: “This is the largest commitment of its kind ever made by a football club. We are proud to be leading the way and grateful for the association’s support in making it happen.
“By offering such a significant number of young girls this exciting opportunity and their first step into football, we are then able to direct these young players into local clubs and other Chelsea Foundation programs that put them on a path that they enjoy sport .’
Dan Burrows, Senior Director, Social & Community Impact EMEA at Nike, added: “At Nike, we are committed to making sport more accessible for girls. Our collaboration with partners like Chelsea FC is crucial to removing cultural, social and economic barriers to participation so that all children, especially girls, have the opportunity to benefit from play and sport. Together we can create an active next generation and a healthier and fairer future for all.”
The Nothing Stops Us campaign is about the unstoppable momentum of women’s football, from the elite to the grassroots.