Disney and The FA, England football’s governing body, have today kicked off a new initiative aiming to attract more young girls to the sport.
The initiative, inspired by Disney storytelling and produced in collaboration with the Youth Sport Trust and the National Literacy Trust, takes the form of two programmes.
The FA’s Shooting Stars Active Play Through Storytelling inspired by Disney uses storytelling from Disney and Pixar’s 2018 smash-hit Incredibles 2 and the classic 1992 animated version of Disney’s Aladdin to capture the imagination of Key Stage 1 girls. Developed in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, these sessions aim to be the start of a child’s journey into sport, with learning objectives based on the national curriculum for Key Stage 1 English and PE.
The FA’s Shooting Stars Girls’ Football Club inspired by Disney is the second programme, aimed at slightly older girls. These sessions use the animated Disney XD TV series Guardians of the Galaxy to advance their sporting journey into a girls-only after school club, where they will learn basic footballing skills and engage in imaginative play.
Baroness Sue Campbell, Director of Women’s Football at the FA, says: “By engaging in the magic of Disney storytelling, the Shooting Stars programme allows girls to develop holistically whilst falling in love with sport, motivating them to participate in physical activity and football.”
Involvement in the scheme, the Baroness adds, will also help girls develop leadership skills, boost their confidence, and move into further football clubs and competitions.
The FA’s Shooting Stars initiative is available in over 1,200 primary schools in the first year of the programme but has ambitions to increase the number of schools taking part year-on-year.
Marianthi O’Dwyer, Head of Healthy Living at Disney, adds: “Disney is committed to supporting the future generation to lead healthier lifestyles and we are in a unique position to inspire families and children to be more active through our characters and the stories they tell.
“So we’re very proud that through our partnership with the FA and the Shooting Stars programme, our storytelling from Incredibles 2, Aladdin and Guardians of the Galaxy is acting as a force for good to encourage girls to get active, build their confidence and participate in playing football.”