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 Community Sports Centre.
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.
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 a number of centres of excellence. As well as playing football, our members have enjoyed free trips out, including visits to the theatre, Us Girls events, Wembley and the Emirates’ Stadium.
Our current lead coach came through the scheme as a participant, aged 14, gaining her FA Level-1 & -2 coaching badges with us and now also plays for AFC Wimbledon Ladies. Want to emulate her? Then come on down!
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).
StreetGames Football Pools Fives Champions 2013
(See News report for details)
StreetGames Football Pools Fives Champions 2014
‘…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
For all Lambeth girls’ schools – years 7 & 8, 9 & 10.
An annual girls’ 6-a-Side Football Festival at Ferndale Community Sports Centre, Brixton. The festival is run in partnership with Lambeth Council as part of a wider women and girls sport and physical activity programme for the borough.
Winners: November 2011 – La Retraite R.C School, Clapham Park
June 2015 – Platanos College, Stockwell
Watch ‘SMP Football For Girls’ on our Media page!
LAMBETH GIRLS’ SECONDARY SCHOOL LEAGUE 2015-16
A new football programme for young women aged 11 – 16 in partnership with Lambeth Council and GLL has seen the creation of a secondary school league for girls. 7 schools from across Lambeth are involved, with matches being played every Wednesday after school at Ferndale Community Sports Centre, Brixton. September to December will see girls in years 9 & 10 competing – years 7 & 8 will commence in the New Year.
In addition, SMP are running an additional free turn-up-&-play community session straight after the league sessions so that girls can stay on and further improve their skills.