Review - The Gameplan for Growth

The Journey to Double Participation

Over the next six weeks, The FA will review the impact of The Gameplan for Growth strategy on the women’s and girls’ game. 

Launched in March 2017, the strategy pledged to tackle ambitious targets to double participation [by doubling the number of affiliated teams], double the game’s fanbase and create a high-performance system and world-class talent pipeline for England teams to achieve consistent success on the world stage. After four seasons the strategy is now concluding, and The FA will outline its continued support for the sport with the launch of the women and girls’ strategy in the coming months.

Over the next six weeks you will hear from individuals who have been integral to the strategy’s success as we review the strategy’s impact across participation, fanbase, coaching, refereeing, England teams and the professional game.

This week’s focus is on The FA’s journey to double participation, growing from 6,000 affiliated teams to over 12,500 affiliated teams, mini-soccer groups and adult recreational groups over the breadth of the country in 2020.

Please find below the results, a first-person narrative from Louise Gear [The FA’s Head of Women’s Football Development] and the story of three different case studies who have flourished during the duration of the strategy.


• 3.4m women and girls playing football
• 9,251 affiliated teams, 54% increase from 2016
• 1,621 Wildcats centres established across the country an increase of 715% from 2017
• 2,000 Shooting Stars inspired by Disney programmes attended by 18,000 girls in Primary Schools
• Over 100 Girls’ Football Schools Partnerships - supported by Barclays created and reaching over 6,000 schools
• 147 Just Play centres for adults introduced in 2019/20
• 88 Community Club Organisations providing opportunities for 55,800 women and girls

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