Leyton Orient Trust has joined thirteen professional football clubs to tackle physical inactivity of girls in disadvantaged areas across London. Funded by The London Marathon Charitable Trust (The Trust), the Trust will join the likes of Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Chelsea to encourage 5,000 inactive girls and young women to participate in football and physical activity sessions. Alongside investment from the Premier League Charitable Fund (PLCF), The London Marathon Charitable Trust have awarded £820,000 to London United, a conglomerate of fourteen professional football clubs that tackles social challenges in the capital.
With rising levels of youth violence increasingly affecting girls and young women, the project – called Kicks Girls – aims to offer a safe space for teenagers to enjoy sport. Along with physical activity sessions, the project will also offer a series of educational workshops and qualifications for teenage girls living in London.
Sarah Ebanja, Chief Executive of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and member of London United, said:
“London United’s fourteen professional football clubs are delighted to be collaborating with The Trust to use the power of the beautiful game to get more girls and women physically active. This applies regardless of fitness levels, age, disability – it’s a sport that all can get involved in – from recreational, grassroots, through to professional.”
Sarah Ridley, Chief Grants Officer of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, said:
“We are delighted to have awarded £820,000 towards this terrific project, which is synonymous with The Trust’s vision to inspire activity. Our mission is to enable people to become and remain physically active regardless of gender or background. We’re passionate about getting more women involved in a wide range of physical activity and look forward to seeing the positive impact this programme will have on girls across London over the coming years.”
With a multitude of Premier League and EFL clubs in London taking part in the initiative, the project will utilise the clubs’ female players to inspire thousands of girls to enjoy physical activity.
To help tackle period poverty and the anxiety of girls taking part in physical activity during their periods, the Trust will provide a selection of free sanitary products at every session.