Over 100 women of Asian heritage will take part in a tournament in Blackburn on Sunday.
Over 100 women of Asian heritage will gather to take part in a football tournament at St Bede's College in Blackburn on Sunday afternoon as a curtain-raiser to the Women's World Cup qualifier between England and France at Ewood Park.
The event is one of several activities planed in the build up to the game and is funded by The FA, building on the legacy of Women’s Euro 2005 and the unprecedented rise in interest in football shown by women and girls in the North West of England.
Women of Asian heritage have been under- represented in taking up this sport but are now showing they are keen to join in.
The tournament organisers, dtparticip8 at DTP have worked with groups across central and east Lancashire to create an environment where women can confidently sign up to the day. The event will only be accessible to women, totally staffed by women, and a crèche and soccer skills sessions for accompanying children will be available in addition to facilities for prayer.
Kate Egford from dtparticip8 said: "This is great example of partnership working to provide a sports event for a group who are not always able to take part in traditional sports development because of their own specific needs.
"It will be a great confidence boost for the women to meet others also looking to increase their participation in sports such as football.
"The enthusiasm of The FA, Blackburn Rovers, St Bede’s and the team organisers across the region to make this happen has been infectious, and we hope the contacts made on the day will enable the players to find further opportunities to play."
Any initial fears that the event might not prove popular were quickly quashed when ‘Sport & Spice’ a group that meet regularly at the National Football Museum in Preston indicated they were booking two coaches to bring the players along with their children and supporters.
Tahera, from the Lancashire Global Education Centre told TheFA.com: "The women in Sport & Spice had been asking to try football and this event aimed truly at beginners to the game seemed ideal.
"The group see developing such activities as a chance to build a legacy for their children and grandchildren to have increased opportunity to take part in wider leisure activities, before then going on to cheer on England in what should be a fascinating World Cup game."