MORE than 900 youngsters are taking part in the Ravenscroft Youth Leagues with a record number of girls registered.
Following a continued focus on encouraging youngsters to carry on playing while at senior school as part of the Ravenscroft and Guernsey Football Association’s joint initiative Football for Everyone, there are now five leagues from under 13 up to under 18.
‘It’s fantastic that every league is competitive, and we have seen some great football so far this season. There are six teams in the under 14, under 15, under 16 and under 18 leagues but the under 13 league has nine teams taking part, the most it has ever had. That includes a team from Alderney for the first time and two clubs, Rangers and Vale Rec, each entering two teams because of the number of youngsters they have playing regularly. This is encouraging for the future of the leagues if they all stay involved,’ said CEO of Guernsey Football Association Gary Roberts.
‘We also have 23 girls playing across every league which is more than we have ever registered and that is definitely because of the Ravenscroft Girls Player Development Centre and the Mourant Girls Academy. An important element of the GFA is to provide the opportunity for boys and girls to play football and the Ravenscroft Youth Leagues are delivering that.’
The leagues are part of Football for Everyone which aims to enable and encourage participation of both boys and girls of all abilities. It also includes the Ravenscroft Girls Player Development Centre and the new Guernsey FA Junior Football Coaching Award, which replaced the FA’s Junior Football Leaders programme.
The first cohort for the award will be at St Sampson’s High School after half-term.
‘The three elements of Football for Everyone aim to continually increase the number of young people taking up football and staying involved as well as giving back to the sport and helping with the younger age groups. With the support of Ravenscroft, we are achieving that which is demonstrated by the number of youngsters now playing.’