Female Football Development Schools Festival 2016 Venue: Stanley Park Time 3-5 Date: 29/2/16 Monday 29th February was the date Blackpool FC Community Trust (BFCCT) held our annual U16’s Girls Football Festival for local schools to participate in at local sports centre, Stanley Park. Part of our Female Football Development (FFD) programme in partnership with the Football League Trust, the day was a chance for the girls to represent their school team in a competitive but relaxed environment. The schools involved were; Unity High School, St Georges, Aspire Academy, Montgomery High School and Baines. The format of the day was a league table, giving all teams the chance to play each other, with slightly longer than normal matches to give the players as much game time as possible. After some really close games and good football on show, Montgomery High School ran out eventual winners of the day, finishing top of the league. The day was a success as it highlighted the work that we are doing on a daily basis as part of FFD programme; encouraging as many girls showing an interest and playing football more regularly. The players were a credit to their school as the event was played in a friendly and calm manner. Blackpool FC Ladies striker, Louise Latham was present on the day as she came down to have a look at the talent we had on show, pose for some photographs and present the winners with their trophy. Louise said, ‘The schools festival was a really good day as it gave the girls a chance to play some football, be a part of their school team and enjoy themselves. We need more of these events in Blackpool to give the opportunity for girls to play more often and as the women’s game grows, this can only be positive for us all’. Mark Dolan, Blackpool FC Community Trust Inclusion Officer said, ‘The event was another good indicator of the work we are doing, trying to get as many girls involved in football as we possibly can. The support from the schools is vital for us as we aim to reach our outcomes, which then allows us to put on festivals and tournaments like this one today. The players seemed to enjoy the day and were grateful of the chance to play competitively. With the female game growing every day, we will aim to continue to hold events like this to showcase our input to the developments of women’s and girls’ football’.