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FA Player Appearances – The Influence of Elite Sport Stars

“Hearing her (player) talk about university keeps the girls thinking that they can do education and sport”.  Secondary school student

Executive Summary

This report looks at the impact of elite sport stars on girls. The Football Association (FA) runs an established ambassador programme, enabling female football players to share their stories and inspire at a local level, with female players visiting schools and community groups for a number of years.

This report assesses the impact of player appearances on growing female participation and raising the profile of the game.

Report Contents:

  • Role model versus influencer.
  • What are our recommendations?
  • Next steps.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Player appearances provide a really positive experience for girls in school and community settings.

Four key impacts:

  • Re-enthusing and validating girls’ participation in football.
  • Actively and meaningfully getting across positive life lessons.
  • Inspiring girls to believe they can achieve in football.
  • Driving interest in the women’s elite game.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Programme monitoring:

  • Player appearance programmes need to be continually monitored to assess impact.

Key measures include:

  • Create regular training programmes for athletes who are selected to make player appearances, to make them effective role models.
  • Support players to develop personalised materials that help share their stories.
  • Make sure girls are aware of local football opportunities beyond the visit of the player.

KEY PARTNERS

RECOMMENDED LINKS AND RESOURCES

  1. Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation. (2013). Kick off your career: Turn your passion for football into your job.