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women & girls football - on the rise

Today marks International Women's Day 2023. Increasing the participation of Women & Girls in sport and physical activity in Manchester is a fundamental target for all of us. We are committed to closing the current gender gap in this space to persuade more women and young girls to participate in sport, in whatever way that is.   Our aim is to make clear the benefits of sport and activity participation to physical and mental health. We also know the influence women often have within their own families, and how their involvement will often encourage others to join in too. Widening access and exposure for Women & Girls in Manchester to find a pathway into activity, regardless of shape, size, experience and ability, is therefore paramount to closing this gender gap.   One such sport we are determined to improve local female participation in is football.   We’re thrilled therefore to see that the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 tournament is already having a lasting social impact on female participation in football. The Tournament raised the profile of the women’s game  in Manchester and we have seen demand increase from women and girls,  not only to participate but also join the workforce and we have welcomed a number of newly qualified female coaches and referee’s this season.   Through the UEFA Euro 2022 Legacy Plan, we have been able to support our Clubs & Leagues to ensure there is capacity for the additional interest and demand in women’s football following the tournament.   Female participation in football has seen a fantastic rise of 33% (2021 figures) across Manchester. We have also seen an increase in affiliated teams grow from 144 to 183 across Manchester and Trafford local authority areas combined, and thanks to a female specific course delivered last summer, we now have 18 newly qualified female match officials  Actively refereeing across grassroots football.   There are now over 4,600 registered female players in Greater Manchester split across 4 leagues; Greater Manchester Women’s League (1,009), Manchester Women’s Flexi-League (595), South Manchester Girls League (2,372) and North Manchester Girls League (941).   But our dedication does not begin and end with the Euro’s , We are pleased that the Womens Recreational offer has now been expanded for a further two years with funding secured from Sport England, The FA and MCRactive. We will also continue our commitment to local clubs, groups and individuals responsible for driving the development of Women’s sport.   Check out just some of the football clubs and groups we’re working with below;   Manchester Laces - Women's Club, 16+ (CHECK OUT OUR 'IN FOCUS' INTERVIEW WITH THE LACES HERE) FC Bluestar - Girls teams from Wildcats to U15  AFC Manchester - U16 girls team Manchester Girls - U10 & U16 Fletcher Moss - U10 & U13 Hough End Griffins - Wildcats  Abraham Moss Warriors - Wildcats  Al Hilal - Unity Community Primary Khizra Mosque - Soccercise Sessions   Check out the map of adult female teams affiliated to Manchester FA here.   There are also a selection of events taking place in 2023. Check them out below:   22 February 2023: Manchester Young Leaders Programme @ City Football Academy 9:30-4:30pm 8 March 2023: LetGirlsPlay Biggest Ever Football Session 2023 @ Various Schools 8 March 2023: IWD Festival @ Trafford Fives 12 March 2023: Walking Football Tournament @ Trafford Fives 26 March 2023: Wildcats to Lionesses @ Trafford Fives 29 March 2023: Equal Game Ambassadors Workshop @ TBC 19 May 2023: Rekfest 2023 Tournament @ TBC 20 May 2023: Wildcats to Lionesses @ Trafford Fives     For more information on Womens and Girls football in Manchester or any of the sessions taking place in Manchester and how to get involved you can search our activity finder or contact Leigh Gell, Mcr FA  – Football Development Officer (Women & Girls) and Nicole Flynn, Mcr FA -  Womens Recreational Football Officer -

the hundred announces 2023 fixture dates

The Hundred is heading back to Manchester for 2023, bringing with it four weeks of spectacular entertainment and intense cricket action at the height of the summer. After two hugely successful years, the competition is set to kick off on Tuesday 1 August, promising high octane men’s and women’s sporting action, live music, and a host of family-friendly entertainment.    Emirates Old Trafford will host its first fixture on Saturday 5 August, with the Manchester Originals men’s and women’s teams kicking off their competition against London Spirit.     More than half a million people attended games during The Hundred’s second year in 2022, including a record-breaking 271,000 watching live women’s fixtures across the competition and more families buying tickets than in 2021. Emirates Old Trafford also saw a record attendance of 52,000 across the four matches in 2022. Alongside world-class cricket, fans were treated to memorable performances from a diverse line-up of artists and DJs including headliners Bastille and The Lottery Winners, thanks to The Hundred’s ongoing partnership with BBC Music Introducing.  There will be an initial, exclusive window to purchase tickets from 1-14 March for anyone who has previously bought tickets for The Hundred. Those yet to attend can sign up in advance at for priority ticket access from 5–18 April. Tickets will then go on general sale on Saturday 20 April. Tickets this year remain great value in line with 2022 pricing, with prices set at £5 for juniors aged 6-15, free for children five and under, and adults starting from £10.     The Hundred Eliminator, where second- and third-placed teams fight it out for a place in the final, is set for Saturday 26 August at Kia Oval. The Final itself will take place on Sunday 27 August at Lord’s.   For the first time this year The Hundred will see both the men’s and the women’s competitions host a draft. The date The Hundred Draft is due to be held is Thursday 2 March. Deadline day – the day on which retained players are confirmed across both competitions – is set to be Thursday 16 February.     Manchester Originals and England Men's World Cup-winning captain Jos Buttler, said: “I’m really excited for The Hundred this year. The atmosphere is always brilliant, and with the music and the entertainment it’s an incredible event to take part in. I know it’s a competition that’s helped the game reach new fans and that’s a great thing to be a part of.”   Sophie Ecclestone, the world’s number one bowler and Manchester Originals star, said: “The first two years of The Hundred have been incredible. We know how much the Emirates Old Trafford crowd are behind us and I’m buzzing for that first ball to be bowled in August. As a team we picked up a lot of momentum towards the end of last season and hopefully we can start well this year and challenge at the top of the table."   Over 14.1 million people tuned in to watch The Hundred action in 2022 and games will again be broadcast live on Sky Sports and BBC broadcast and digital channels throughout the competition.     To stay up to date with the latest news, buy tickets or to sign up for priority access, visit or follow The Hundred, and the eight teams, on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. FIND OUT MORE INFO HERE CHECK OUT THE MANCHESTER ORIGINALS FIXTURES BELOW: - Wednesday 2 August: Welsh Fire vs Manchester Originals, Sophia Gardens, women 11:30, men 15:00 - Saturday 5 August: Manchester Originals vs London Spirit, Emirates Old Trafford, women 11:00, men 14:30 - Monday 7 August: Manchester Originals vs Birmingham Phoenix, Emirates Old Trafford, women 15:00, men 18:30 - Wednesday 9 August: Oval Invincibles vs Manchester Originals, Kia Oval, women 15:00, men 18:30 - Sunday 13 August: Northern Superchargers vs Manchester Originals, Headingley, women 11:00, men 14:30 - Thursday 17 August: Trent Rockets vs Manchester Originals, Trent Bridge, women 15:00, men 18:30 - Sunday 20 August: Manchester Originals vs Northern Superchargers, women 11:00, men 14:30  - Wednesday 23 August: Manchester Originals vs Southern Brave, Emirates Old Trafford, women 15:00, men 18:30 - Saturday 26 August: The Hundred Eliminator, Kia Oval, women 14:30, men 18:00 - Sunday 27 August: The Hundred Final, Lord’s, women 14:15, men 18:00

record breaking year of holiday activity provision

In Manchester, we recognise that school holidays for some families can be a challenging time. The pressure of reduced incomes and increased costs such as food and childcare can feel hard during these times, and for some children and young people this creates gaps in accessing organised holiday activity.   This can result in ‘unhealthy holidays’ - increased holiday hunger, limited access to nutritious and healthy meals alongside limited access to physical and fun activities. All of which can contribute to the likelihood of experiencing social isolation. Sadly, these issues have also been further exasperated by the Covid-19 pandemic.    In response to this, the Department of Education (DfE) has provided local authorities with Holiday Activity Funding (HAF) to develop a free activity and food programme during the holidays. This means we are able to work with clubs and organisations across the city to develop a food and activity programme to respond to the above, which we know will make a positive impact on the children and young people of Manchester. From Summer 2021 - Summer 2022, MCRactive and Manchester City Council offered thousands of FREE places to children eligible for benefit related free school meals and those with no recourse to public funds; to access a variety of activities over the school holiday periods. Activities range from Sport and Physical Activities, Arts and Crafts and sometimes can include a variety of Day Trips.  Our work with holiday activity has gone from strength to strength over the past year, with a focus on providing support for children and families eligible for free school meals, with funding secured from the Department for Education; allowing us to deliver enriching and inclusive activities alongside a healthy meal. This year, Manchester commissioned 115 unique providers to receive Holiday Activity Funding (HAF) to deliver a meal and activities over school holidays. Aimed at local 5-16 years old in receipt of free school meals, we delivered; - 3,466 Sessions - 81,847 engagements - 14,572 children MCRactive, the City Council are immensely proud of the work we have achieved over the past year, but we couldn't have done it without the hard work or local providers, volunteers and communities working tirelessly to provide free, engaging and vital activity and hot meals to disadvantaged children in our city. And we have no plans to stop anytime soon, with plans to expand the Holiday Activity Fund program even further in 2023 to ensure we reach all children in need accross Manchester.