Crystal Palace Women announce new initiative to get more young girls involved in sport
Crystal Palace Women have announced a new initiative with Palace for life Foundation in a bid to use sport to shape young girls' lives.
The Palace for Life Foundation is the football club's official charity and they will be working with the team to provide activity sessions and regular player visits to schools, colleges and community groups across South London to inspire more girls to lead healthy and active lives.
Girls from the surrounding boroughs will have the chance to attend home games as well as acting as mascots and meeting first-team players, who will be joined by their male counterparts to deliver workshops at local schools and holiday camps.
The players' kit and match-day programmes will also feature the Foundation logo in order to raise awareness of the work the Foundation is doing.
Mike Summers, the Foundation's chief executive, said: “We know how inspiring sporting role models can be, so we are delighted that this partnership will see more of our women’s team out and about in the community, meeting girls and young women and positively impacting their lives.
"Diversity and equality is at the heart of everything we do and we want to ensure that all young south Londoners have the opportunity to build for a positive future, regardless of their background or gender and we feel this partnership will help us to achieve that."
Palace are also dedicated to providing a pathway for emerging young female players to join the club. The Foundation's Coach Development Manager Keith Bonas will be working closely with the Youth Section of the Foundation in order to provide those opportunities.
Chairman of Crystal Palace (Women), Richard Spokes, told of his delight at the collaboration, saying: "Crystal Palace are very excited about the partnership with Palace for Life Foundation.
"We will be collectively involved in helping to reach out to young people, especially girls, within south London; working to provide support and role models through our players and in turn hope to inspire and motivate our future adults."
Palace Women's captain Freya Holdaway echoed his comments, saying: "Working alongside the Foundation is a great way of helping young girls in sport.
"Seeing them in schools looking to achieve and then seeing them at games brings the whole process together.
"It's great that we can be role models for these young girls and hopefully help them along the way to fulfilling their hopes and aspirations."