East Renfrewshire high school pupils have been inspired by the Scottish Womens' National team to join their school teams and compete in a local league organised by ERCL Active Schools
Excitement is building for football fans across the area as the Scotland Women's national team prepares to compete in their first ever major tournament this Summer. The European Championships will take place in the Netherlands during July and August 2017, and in promotion of this, female footballers from across East Renfrewshire have been given the opportunity to develop their skills while participating in their own competitive league.
The East Renfrewshire Secondary Girls' Football League, which has been running for three years, kicked off again at Williamwood High School earlier in the year, with St. Ninian's High School hosting the second round of fixtures earlier this month. The 7-a-side league is organised by Active Schools in partnership with Giffnock Soccer Centre and offers teams the opportunity to compete with neighbouring schools in a fun but competitive environment. All matches are refereed by senior pupils who are in the process of completing either their Sports Leader Award or the SFA/SQA football referees course.
Six schools are currently represented in the league, with St. Ninian's sitting in first place at the moment. The leading school at the end of the season will be awarded with the East Renfrewshire trophy.
The girls football league has been a fantastic competition so far. It's great to see so many girls participating and enjoying their football and I think it has encouraged more to get involved. I know that the girls in the St Ninian's team have come on a lot due to the opportunity to test themselves against the other schools, and I'm sure the other teams will have seen similar positive results.
Ryan Kerr, PE teacher and Girls Football Coach, St Ninian's HS
The ER Secondary Girls League is a great opportunity for girls to represent their school and have fun while they compete. The standard has been impressive and players have demonstrated excellent sportsmanship throughout. Now in its third year, it is rewarding to see the enthusiasm for the sport growing, with more and more girls getting involved.
Lesley Birrell-Palmer, Active School Coordinator (Williamwood Cluster)