England Lioness star Fara Williams has joined evening commuters at London Victoria station to help people rediscover the joy and benefits of recreational football with a pop-up football simulator.
Fara Williams and FA Director of the Women’s Game, Kelly Simmons, were at Victoria to celebrate another successful year for the FA Mars Just Play grassroots football programme and to commemorate the people who’ve contributed to this. They were joined by Just Play players who were in the station to challenge competitive commuters to test their football skills.
This week marks the anniversary of the first ever England women’s international match, which took place on 18th November 1972. Since then, women’s football has come a long way and one of the keys to this progress has been the growth of the grassroots game.
With Mars and The FA having announced the renewal of their partnership this year with an increased focus on supporting greater diversity and inclusion at every level of the game, Just Play sessions continue to welcome all adults aged 16+, regardless of gender or ability. The FA Mars Just Play programme gives the casual footballer a chance to just turn up to a venue and play football without needing to make a commitment to a season of matches and training – it’s about turning up for an hour of exercise and a bit of fun.
Fara Williams, England Lioness; said: “I’ve spoken with people here today who before stepping up hadn’t kicked a ball since school. However there really is a game of football for everyone and I hope today has inspired people to find a football session that works for them.”
Kelly Simmons, Director of the Women’s Professional Game, The FA; said “This is an incredibly exciting time for the women’s game. We want people, regardless of gender or ability, to be inspired by the past and potential future success of our England teams and get out on the pitch. The FA Mars Just Play programme is now one of the biggest and fastest-growing adult football programmes in the country and there is a Just Play session suitable for all adults to try.”
Matt Boulter, UK Portfolio Director at Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK said; “We’re proud to support diversity and inclusion across our brands, and to have the opportunity to work with The FA to push this agenda further within Just Play and encourage even more people across the UK to play football. We hope that those who have kicked a ball for the first time in years today have rediscovered how much fun a kickabout can be.”
Find your nearest Just Play centre at www.thefa.com/justplay