The Bristol Women’s Football Casual League was established because there was a recognised gap between those females wanting to participate in traditional 11 a-side football in a competitive and regular league and those that wanted to play football but on a more friendly, informal and flexible basis.
The league recognises the need for a friendly ‘women’s only’ football league that provides an informal but organised opportunity to play in a nurturing environment and is aimed at women of all abilities who want to play football.
The league continually consults with the ladies. This gives them ownership and allows them to make important decisions whether this is around playing formats or frequency of games.
The real success has stemmed from ensuring the cost is kept to a minimum and in turn this allows more accessibility, especially from those in deprived areas or have a low income.
Ensuring the right people are involved makes the women feel comfortable, this includes the leagues organisers, referees etc and that the right environment is created for all - friendly and accessible.
It brings a real mix of players from different cultures together to play football and ensures that community values, social togetherness and access to sport through football is available to everyone.
“A lovely day is had by all, with lots of families and children supporting. It is great to see so many women playing football regularly and shows that if we listen to what people want, break down the barriers to opportunity, we can help more people engage in football. Women from the League have also been given the opportunity to participate in FA coaching and refereeing courses to build their confidence around the game, develop skills and help to sustain the league in the future.”