Danielle Carter has backed a new initiative in the FA’s ‘Grow the Game’ scheme.
After £1.5m investment from the FA, Football Foundation will be giving grants to grassroots football clubs to help them make new teams for girls, women and disabled players.
Carter, who has been at Arsenal since 2009, admits she’s been lucky – not all girls and women get the chance to sign for a club like Leyton Orient at such a young age.
“As a footballer, one of the most rewarding things is seeing young supporters at the game and hoping that they too take up football after watching England play,” Carter told the FA’s website.
“I was lucky when I was a young girl as I joined Leyton Orient at the age of ten, but for many of my team-mates they were playing in boys teams until they were older.
“It’s great that Grow the Game will mean that more girls teams will be created and give more people the chance to play and enjoy football.”
The Grow the Game aims to give grassroots clubs £1500 for every team they create.
This helps to pay for coaching courses, league affiliation costs, referees’ fees, first aid kits and even football kit and equipment through a bespoke voucher.
Most of us are used to talking in Premier League men’s team terms, so £1500 may not sound that much, but when you look at where the cash will be spent, you see how important these grants could be.
£1500-per-team will go a long way.
Hearing such positive words on the new initiative from Carter, who’s scored 26 goals in 87 Arsenal appearances for Arsenal, will be fantastic for young people, particularly girls, who want to get into a sport still dominated by men.
You can see progress happening at the top tier of women’s football but this often takes years to filter down to the lower leagues, let alone grassroots.
It gives these young women a clear path towards playing at a higher level, whether they only play football as a hobby or want to carry it on as a career.
Since last year, the scheme has helped recognise 10,016 female footballers.
Grow the Game applications are now open; they close on Thursday 29 March.
You can find out more about the scheme and how to get involved here.