The FA Weetabix Wildcats programme is an inclusive initiative by The Football Association, launched in 2017, specifically designed for girls aged 5-11. The largely successful Wildcats programme has grown to over 1250 centres.

Wildcats is specifically targeted at girls aged 5-11, a demographic that previously may have found limited opportunities to engage in football in a non-competitive, introductory environment.
It focuses on providing a friendly and non-competitive environment where young girls can learn football, build skills, and gain confidence.

Before the introduction of the Wildcats centres, young girls often faced the challenge of having to join competitive teams to experience football, often needing to join teams which were predominantly boys. The Wildcats initiative bridges this gap, offering an accessible and welcoming entry point for young girls to explore and develop their interest in football, making it a valuable pathway for encouraging girls’ involvement in football.
Parents have noted significant benefits from their daughters attending Wildcats sessions. Eighty-one percent of parents say their daughters have grown in confidence, and seventy-one percent have observed their children making new friends.

How is the Wildcats different from regular junior football?

The Wildcat programme offers a unique blend of activities and sessions that differ significantly from the typical junior football team environment. Focused on creating a fun and non-competitive atmosphere, these sessions are designed to introduce girls to football in a relaxed and enjoyable setting. Activities are centered around developing fundamental skills through playful and engaging drills and games. Unlike competitive teams where the emphasis might be on winning and performance, Wildcats centres prioritise enjoyment, individual skill development, and fostering a love for the game. This approach ensures that every participant, regardless of skill level, feels welcomed and can participate without the pressure of competition.

Who runs the Wildcats sessions?

All sessions are delivered by FA qualified coaches who are not just experts in football but also trained extensively in first aid and safeguarding. This ensures that the welfare of each participant is a primary concern, creating a secure environment for girls to enjoy football.

How to get involved

The first step to joining the Wildcats programme is to visit the England Football website and use the tool to find a session near you. While most sessions last for about an hour, it’s advisable to check with the local centre for specific timings. The cost is typically up to a maximum of £3, with some centres offering free taster sessions for new participants.

Volunteering opportunities

The Wildcats initiative also welcomes volunteers who are enthusiastic about contributing to these sessions. You don’t need to be a football expert to volunteer; a passion for fun and engagement is more than sufficient. For those interested in growing the Wildcats network, reaching out to the local County FA can provide more information on how to get involved.

Becoming a Wildcats Centre

Clubs interested in hosting their own Wildcats sessions can also find guidance and application details on the FA’s official platform. This is an excellent opportunity to encourage young girls’ participation in football within your community.

For more information on the Weetabix Wildcats, visit the website: www.weetabix.co.uk/weetabix-wildcats/

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