Empowering Girls Through Football: Doncaster’s Journey to Boost Girls’ Engagement

This case study examines the strategies implemented to encourage sports involvement, develop skills, and promote local teams, offering further opportunities for engagement for girls and females. 


In Doncaster, efforts to boost sports engagement among youth have focused on increasing girls’ participation in football.

Understanding the significance of physical activity and teamwork, particularly in schools, the Doncaster community launched a series of events across the city’s North, South, and East regions. These events targeted both primary and secondary school students, with a special emphasis on empowering girls through football, with the help of Active Fusion’s Girls Football & Education Sports Coach Luke. 

The flagship event was the “Biggest Girls Football Session,” meticulously planned and executed. Prior to the main event, a leaders’ training session was held at Don Valley School. This training aimed to enhance and develop the skills of KS3 and KS4 students, preparing them to play crucial roles during the event for the younger KS2 students from Year 3 to Year 5. Their roles included officiating matches and facilitating engaging activities to ensure continuous participation among the girls taking part. 

By involving students in various roles, the event not only promoted teamwork and leadership but also exposed participants to potential career paths in sports officiating and apprenticeships. Involving multiple year groups helped build stronger relationships and foster teamwork within schools. This led the older children in the school to be exposed to new opportunities and consider their next steps. 

Another significant initiative took place at Ridgewood School, where a carousel of “Game On” activity cards was introduced alongside the school’s successful football team. Sixth-form students were engaged to deliver these activities, requiring prior training and skill development sessions. These sessions equipped the students with the necessary skills and provided them with opportunities to practice teaching in small groups, ensuring effective delivery during the event. 

By involving older students in delivering activities, the initiative encouraged peer-to-peer learning and leadership development while promoting physical activity among younger students. 

These initiatives also served as platforms to promote local football teams within the community. By showcasing the talents and achievements of these teams, students were encouraged to explore further opportunities, such as offering courses or sports apprenticeships. 

The opportunities that were offered to the students were organised to foster sports engagement for girls, especially participation in football. This is why Barclays and England Football have partnered to make a change to equal access in schools. We are making a change! 

To find out more about our Girls’ Football provision click here. For any direct enquiries or interest in events like these please email Luke at – luke@activefusion.org.uk