It’s not every day that football beginners have the chance to meet and be coached by leading international players. But that’s exactly what happened on Saturday 26th March at Regents Park Sports Hub at a free Girls’ Come and Play Day with superstars Emma Byrne and Jayne Ludlow along with Arsenal and Tottenham Academy Girls who were on hand to pass on their expertise.

The festival was timed to commemorate the launch of the new FA Women’s Super League which kicks off in April, and to also help address the steady decline in the number of 7-11 year old girls playing the game in the capital over the past few seasons. This was certainly accomplished with over 160 girls from around the capital and beyond turning up wanting to play football!

The day kicked off at 10am and ran through to 1pm, where over 160 7-11 year old girls turned up to ‘just play’. The girls all participated in training sessions put on by Middlesex FA Skills coaches, Arsenal and Tottenham academy girls and Arsenal Ladies first team players, followed by 4v4 and 5v5 matches. London FA Young Leaders were also there on the day to assist the players in their coaching sessions.

As well as receiving coaching from their heroes, the girls received a goody bag, details of their local Come and Play Centre and free tickets to Arsenal Ladies first Women’s Super League match.

The day was a huge success and was the perfect introduction to the game in a place where the emphasis was on fun, building confidence, learning new skills and making friends.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 29 Mar 2011