Lucy, 16, takes part in boxing sessions with Crystal Palace as part of our Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) programme. With the emphasis on discipline and respect, young people such as Lucy have learnt a lot more than just an effective right hook.
“Boxing is a sport that girls or people my age are not often introduced to and I have been very lucky to have been given the chance to get involved. I now go every Friday and the equipment and coaches provided by Crystal Palace FC Foundation has made it much more enjoyable.
“The boxing programme has helped me keep fit, make new friends and to keep pushing myself to do what I thought I couldn't do. It has made me much more confident and given me the chance to gain skills in sports I never thought I would even try. I would definitely recommend it to anyone as a great way to get involved and get active.”
Crystal Palace is one of 36 clubs helping to motivate people like Lucy to keep trying new sports and developing other skills through PL4S. They teach young people not to give up if things seem too difficult at first – but to get up and keep on trying.
Boxing is one of 12 sports delivered in PL4S which, along with Premier League Kicks, is part of a successful partnership with Sport England.
With teenage years being a key time that girls often drop out of sport altogether, Stoke City Community Trust decided to try something completely different this season - football played under ultra-violet light with neon bibs and face paint. England women's international Jo Potter joined the girls from four local schools during the first session and believes the success of England's women's team is also helping to boost initiatives like this.
“UV Football is great fun and has created a wow factor amongst the girls involved in our project,” said Stoke City's Premier League Girls Coordinator Andrew Frost. “Girls have embraced the opportunity to do something a bit different and we are looking to embed UV Football in our offer in the future.”
Stoke City's Girls Football programme is run in conjunction with the Staffordshire FA to provide more opportunities for young women to play football and develop a regular sporting habit for life.
“ UV Football is great fun and has created a wow factor amongst the girls.”Andrew Frost, Stoke City's Premier League Girls Coordinator
The Premier League Girls Football programme began in 2013 to boost participation and is now delivered by 36 Premier League and English Football League clubs. In the last year alone, the scheme has engaged 17,000 girls up and down the country.