Women's football participation growing in Wales

Wales manager Jayne Ludlow with primary school pupils from Cardiff
Wales manager Jayne Ludlow with primary school pupils from Cardiff at an FAW event

Women's football in Wales has grown by 50% since 2016, according to the Football Association of Wales (FAW) Trust.

A record 8,600 women and girls are now signed up to football clubs in Wales.

The rise in participation levels comes after Wales' senior side came close to qualifying for the 2019 World Cup in France.

"For us it's really pleasing to see the numbers are continuing to increase," said Katy Evans, the FAW Trust's football development manager for girls participation.

"The profile of the game has grown massively. We had the World Cup last summer which raised the profile to an unprecedented level.

"Attitudes are starting to change and there are opportunities out there for girls to play football and the work that our clubs are doing is absolutely fantastic.

"The appetite to grow the game is really there and if a girl has the ambition to play football there's far more opportunities for her to do that now."

"We're really pleased with the progress to date," FAW Trust interim chief executive Caroline Spanton said.

"It is a huge testament to the work of coaches, clubs, volunteers, leagues and all our other partners who are providing more and more opportunities for women and girls every year.

"To reach our target, we know we need to do things differently which is why we are taking new approaches."

The Trust has set an ambitious goal of 20,000 registered female players by 2024.

It is planning to expand its Huddle programme, which was launched in 2018 and is designed for 5-12 year olds.

The aim of the programme is to bridge the gap and support the transition between school and club football.

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