Girls can tackle, dribble, score and save goals just the same as boys can, but football is still seen by many as a “man’s game”.
Research from the Football Association suggests 2.9 million girls and women play in football teams in the UK, compared to 8.9 million men.
To close the gap, the FA has launched The Gameplan for Growth, a strategy committed to doubling the number of girls and women taking part in football to nearly six million by 2020.
As part of the scheme, new football sessions created exclusively for girls aged 5-11 have been launched at 200 clubs around the country.
Chelsea and England Ladies player Karen Carney is an ambassador for the SSE Wildcats programme.
“I think there has been more opportunities for boys in the past and less barriers, hence why this initiative is so important as it gives girls the opportunity to play in a safe, fun and friendly environment,” she told HuffPost UK.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play for England and it would be great to some England players come through the ranks via the SSE Wildcats programme, but the main thing is to give more opportunities and for these young wildcats to have fun, socialise and make new friends.”
HuffPost UK spoke to girls at a Wildcats session in London to see what they make of their new hobby.
One thing’s for sure, girls can and do play football.
Visit www.thefa.com/forgirls for further details on your local SSE Wildcats session.