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Football education scheme for young women is 'great for the area'

PUBLISHED: 17:44 21 November 2019

A new dedicated female football education programme is set to launch at Kirkley and Pakefield's Walmer Road from September 2020. Pictures: Glen Wilson Sutter

A new dedicated female football education programme is set to launch at Kirkley and Pakefield's Walmer Road from September 2020. Pictures: Glen Wilson Sutter

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A new dedicated female football education programme is set to launch at Kirkley and Pakefield's Walmer Road from September 2020. Pictures: Glen Wilson SutterA new dedicated female football education programme is set to launch at Kirkley and Pakefield's Walmer Road from September 2020. Pictures: Glen Wilson Sutter

That is the aim of a "dedicated" female football education programme that is set to launch in Lowestoft next year.

With women's football thriving, the new programme has been unveiled by the Football Industry College and Sentinel Leisure Trust.

Aspiring female footballers are now being sought, with an 'experience session' to be held next week, and a fixture next month.

Those due to complete their GCSE's and leave school next year, or course transfers aged between 16 to 18, are welcome to find out more at the 'experience session' next Thursday, November 28 at Kirkley and Pakefield FC.

A new dedicated female football education programme is set to launch at Kirkley and Pakefield's Walmer Road from September 2020. Pictures: Glen Wilson SutterA new dedicated female football education programme is set to launch at Kirkley and Pakefield's Walmer Road from September 2020. Pictures: Glen Wilson Sutter

Claire Henwood, chief executive of the SLT Group, said: "With our national education and football programme going from strength to strength, we are excited to announce that from September 2020 we will be launching our dedicated female football/education programme at Kirkley and Pakefield's fantastic Walmer Road facility.

"If you would like to use your passion for football in the next steps of your education, then we would like to invite you and your parents to our next 'Experience Session' to find out more."

On Thursday, November 28, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, an experience session is set to be held at K&P headquarters in Walmer Road ahead of a fixture on December 10. This will give those interested the chance to gain insights into the female programme and the pathways available, including possible football or sports industry careers.

Kirkley and Pakefield FC Chairman Paul Underdown said: "This has been discussed now for a year-and-a-half and over the last couple of months it has progressed to create a new dedicated female football education programme.

"It is great for the club, great for the area and something we feel can really work for us.

"The course offers many opportunities with the facilities we have here."

Andy Reynolds, assistant director of football education at Sentinel, said: "This is a new programme for the female game.

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"It will be based at Kirkley and Pakefield FC at this Walmer Road site and will give the girls their own unique environment to come and learn and develop potential careers in sport.

"It is a BTEC Level 3 course run over two years, the same as what we are running with the boys programme at Barnards Meadow, Lowestoft."

To find out more and register your interest, visit www.footballindustrycollege.com/apply-now

Leading the way

The new programme is being backed by Ipswich Town FC women's footballer Ciera Flatt, 18.

The midfielder progressed through the Football Industry College's programme at Barnards Meadow, Lowestoft to sign for Ipswich in January this year.

She has also embarked on a three year sports degree at the University of Suffolk, and said: "I would really recommend this programme.

"When it was my time there was no girls only programmes, and I was the only girl at the Barnards Soccer Centre at Lowestoft.

"It offers so many opportunities, not just playing, and I really enjoyed it."

Of the new programme being launched, Ms Henwood said: "It is fantastic.

"It is great to see Ciera progress through the programme and we are really proud of what she has achieved.

"The girls game is a real big area of growth and with the superb facilities at Walmer Road this new programme will help to raise the profile further."

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