England and Notts County goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain has given her support to Girls’ Football Week.
Running from 5 to 11 October, the FA-run initiative is aimed at encouraging more education institutions to organise female-specific football sessions.
It has been developed from the success of previous Women’s Football Weeks, which were targeted at higher educational establishments.
And Chamberlain believes Girls’ Football Week can really help increase participation in the women's game.
"It's a great idea," said the stopper.
“I didn’t have a school team to play in. The year below me won the National Fives competition but I had to go to Fulham’s Junior ‘Black & Whites’ to play my football in the school holidays.
“So I’d definitely encourage any school or university to take women’s football seriously.”
And Chamberlain revealed that it was hockey that got her interested in becoming a goalkeeper.
She added: “One day I put all the pads on, went in goal and really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d give it a go at football.”
Girls’ Football Week is delivered in partnership with Independent Schools FA, English Schools FA, Association of Colleges Sport and British Universities and Colleges Sport.
This year the programme has been extended to include primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities along with clubs and community groups who are also invited to participate.
In 2014, more than 2,000 people took part in the sessions across 80 institutions. It is aimed that this year 5,000 girls and women will play football during the week.
Further information, relevant to the appropriate age group, can be found at:
Participating institutions are encouraged to complete a survey about their planned activity, which will also enter them into a draw to win a visit from an England player and a signed England shirt. The survey can be found here.