In the autumn of 2008, on a chilly, grey morning in Brixton, two sisters, a dozen footballs and two coaches began the very first girls-only session of the St. Matthew’s Project at Ferndale Sports Centre. Since then, the numbers of girls from across Lambeth enjoying free football and coaching in a safe and encouraging environment has grown steadily. March 2009 saw 35 girls turn up for our first tournament, an event won by Team Lambeth, the council-run elite girls’ team, in a closely fought out final with a team from La Retraite RC Girls’ School, Clapham Park. In March 2010 the inaugural Lambeth Council & St. Matthew’s Secondary School Girls’ Football Festival attracted 75 players as eight teams battled it out on the Ferndale Astroturf. In the final, Dunraven triumphed 3 – 1 over Stockwell Park High School. The victorious Dunraven girls can be seen celebrating with the ‘St. Matthew’s Trophy’ in our short film on the media page. 2010 also saw a St. Matthew’s team overcome Team Lambeth to win the Lambeth World Cup summer football tournament at Kennington Park.
The challenge for the St. Matthew’s Project (and inner-city football schemes in general) is how to get 75 girls playing football outside of school hours and without teachers transporting them to and from the venue. We are fortunate in having a fantastic and dedicated group of girls attending our Saturday morning sessions but are always looking to attract new members. Players of all abilities between the ages of 11 and 16 are welcome to join in for two hours of coaching and competitive 6-a-side games every Saturday morning throughout the year. We have players who have barely kicked a ball before, and others who’ve trained with the female teams at Chelsea and Millwall. And in between, there’s room for everyone. For those looking to progress, we can provide exit routes into Team Lambeth and Chelsea, Millwall & Fulham ladies’ centres of excellence.
As well as football, our girl members have enjoyed free trips out, including visits to Wembley and the Emirates’ Stadium. So why not come along and check us out?
Where: Ferndale Sports Centre, Nursery Road, Brixton SW9 8BP
When: Every Saturday morning - 10.00am to 12.00pm, from September to July
*All activities take place on Astroturf so please wear appropriate footwear (no studs or blades).
UEFA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS’ LEAGUE FINAL
WOLFSBURG v OLYMPIQUE LYON
STAMFORD BRIDGE, CHELSEA F.C: THURSDAY 23rd MAY 2013 – KICK OFF: 7.30PM
The St. Matthew’s Project is offering tickets for the above event to girls from the Saturday Morning Scheme with the best attendance record for 2012-13, as reward for their effort and loyalty. If you are unable to make the trip, please let us know in good time so we can offer your ticket to someone else. We will be travelling by minibus to the stadium and will depart from Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton at 5.30pm sharp. Please meet at the Assembly Rooms entrance in Acre Lane. We hope to return to Brixton between 10.00 and 10.30pm. Please make sure you collect a consent form on Saturday the 18th and return it on the day of the trip.
‘…I would like to thank St. Matthew’s for the support you have given my daughter.
She originally joined girls-only football on Saturday morning to improve her team work/play skills and she ended up getting much more than just that. She got more confidence in dealing with others and has learnt to know and appreciate herself as well as others. Finally and most importantly she now belongs to a group she is proud of… The girls offer her support and comfort and she loves it, particularly knowing that she does not have aunties or big sisters in the UK. Thank you so much again’. Parent testimony
LAMBETH GIRLS’ SECONDARY SCHOOL FOOTBALL FESTIVAL
LA RETRAITE SUCCESSFULLY DEFEND ST. MATTHEW’S TROPHY
La Retraite R.C School, Clapham Park took the St. Matthew’s Trophy home with them again after a close-fought encounter with Evelyn Grace Academy, Brixton in the Festival final. The two finalists, both winners of their respective groups, represented the best of a very high standard of Lambeth female footballers in years 7 to 9. All the girls taking part on the day did their schools proud.