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Today marks International Women's Day 2023. Increasing the participation of Women & Girls in sport and physical activity in Manchester is a fundamental target for all of us. We are committed to closing the current gender gap in this space to persuade more women and young girls to participate in sport, in whatever way that is.
Our aim is to make clear the benefits of sport and activity participation to physical and mental health. We also know the influence women often have within their own families, and how their involvement will often encourage others to join in too. Widening access and exposure for Women & Girls in Manchester to find a pathway into activity, regardless of shape, size, experience and ability, is therefore paramount to closing this gender gap.
One such sport we are determined to improve local female participation in is football.
We’re thrilled therefore to see that the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 tournament is already having a lasting social impact on female participation in football. The Tournament raised the profile of the women’s game  in Manchester and we have seen demand increase from women and girls,  not only to participate but also join the workforce and we have welcomed a number of newly qualified female coaches and referee’s this season.
Through the UEFA Euro 2022 Legacy Plan, we have been able to support our Clubs & Leagues to ensure there is capacity for the additional interest and demand in women’s football following the tournament.
Female participation in football has seen a fantastic rise of 33% (2021 figures) across Manchester. We have also seen an increase in affiliated teams grow from 144 to 183 across Manchester and Trafford local authority areas combined, and thanks to a female specific course delivered last summer, we now have 18 newly qualified female match officials  Actively refereeing across grassroots football.
There are now over 4,600 registered female players in Greater Manchester split across 4 leagues; Greater Manchester Women’s League (1,009), Manchester Women’s Flexi-League (595), South Manchester Girls League (2,372) and North Manchester Girls League (941).
But our dedication does not begin and end with the Euro’s , We are pleased that the Womens Recreational offer has now been expanded for a further two years with funding secured from Sport England, The FA and MCRactive. We will also continue our commitment to local clubs, groups and individuals responsible for driving the development of Women’s sport.
Check out just some of the football clubs and groups we’re working with below;
Check out the map of adult female teams affiliated to Manchester FA here.
There are also a selection of events taking place in 2023. Check them out below:
22 February 2023: Manchester Young Leaders Programme @ City Football Academy 9:30-4:30pm
8 March 2023: LetGirlsPlay Biggest Ever Football Session 2023 @ Various Schools
8 March 2023: IWD Festival @ Trafford Fives
12 March 2023: Walking Football Tournament @ Trafford Fives
26 March 2023: Wildcats to Lionesses @ Trafford Fives
29 March 2023: Equal Game Ambassadors Workshop @ TBC
19 May 2023: Rekfest 2023 Tournament @ TBC
20 May 2023: Wildcats to Lionesses @ Trafford Fives
For more information on Womens and Girls football in Manchester or any of the sessions taking place in Manchester and how to get involved you can search our activity finder or contact Leigh Gell, Mcr FA  – Football Development Officer (Women & Girls) and Nicole Flynn, Mcr FA -  Womens Recreational Football Officer -

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