Girls football participation grows by 30% in Wales post-Euro 2016

It's been an amazing year in the growth of girls football

Girls football in Wales has grown by nearly one third in the season that followed the hysteria of Euro 2016.

In the season that saw 1,600 females attend our biggest ever National Women & Girls Festival, the girls game has enjoyed unprecedented growth in the past season, largely thanks to clubs like Baglan, who grew their girls section from scratch to more than 200 playing female members in a calendar year.

At the end of the 2015/16 season, 3,860 girls (age 5-16) were regularly playing football in Wales but, a year on, that figure proudly stands at 4,991, in the face of our ambitious target of 20,000 registered female players by 2024.

Baglan Boys and Girls Club girls section secretary Ryan Thomas, says his club visited schools in their native Port Talbot and neighbouring Neath and Swansea to recruit girls in the immediate aftermath of Euro 2016 and have since seen their numbers grow from strength to strength.

The steelworker, whose two daughters play for the club, said: "It's all about making the girls feel like they're part of the club. If they're happy and making friends, they will want to come back.

"It's important that they learn it's not all about winning. We are a family and it shows on and off the pitch."

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Participation among junior boys also grew by 909 (2%) in the wake of Wales' history-making run to the Euro 2016 semi finals last summer.

There are now 42,320 boys regularly playing football in Wales and the overall participation figure for football in Wales now stands at 109,190.


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