The Eighth Wonder programme offers 14-20-year-old women a unique opportunity to break into the world of football

Wednesday 07th September 2016

Following a jam-packed summer of sport, the legacy of a wonderful Olympic and Paralympic games in Rio is set to continue, at the Kent County Football Association and K Sports and Social Club in Ditton. 

The Eighth Wonder programme offers 14-20-year-old women a unique opportunity to break into the world of football.



Founded by former Kent FA and Gillingham FC Head of Marketing and Communications, Charlotte Richardson, the programme is set to create 50 future female leaders of football. 

The programme kick-starts on Friday 28th October 2016 with a day full of development sessions and workshops to enhance their skills and confidence, under the watchful eye of a host of experienced mentors from across Kent football. 

Following this one-off day of in-depth training and personal development, participants will be placed on a mentoring scheme, providing them with support and guidance to contribute to the volunteer workforce in Kent. 

A volunteering placement scheme across the county will see Eighth Wonder participants provided with unique opportunities to obtain experience; whether as a coach, administrator, marketer, journalist or any other role within the game. 

As the programme begins to welcome applications for the inaugural day, Richardson hopes the opportunity is one many will want to grasp. 

“Eighth Wonder is all about instilling self-belief and confidence in young women with ambitions to get involved in football,” she said.

“It’s common knowledge that a number of barriers exist for women in football and this opportunity seeks to provide young women with a truly unique head start on a journey that could take them anywhere.

“I have been fortunate enough to work in football and owe the opportunities I’ve enjoyed to voluntary experience alongside my studies at school, sixth form and university. This programme is inspired by that journey - and that of thousands of other people across the country - who given the right opportunity can flourish, making a positive contribution to football, the local community and beyond.” 

The programme is one the Kent FA is supporting by hosting the day at their headquarters in Ditton.

Football Development Officer, Natalie Curtis, believes the programme can attract a lot of interest following the successful growth of the women’s game nationally. 

“Ever since London 2012 and the England Lionesses third place finish at the FIFA World Cup, momentum and growth has been vast for the women’s game,” she said.

“The Eighth Wonder programme identifies how great the contribution of women is and by enabling us with a way to match participants with clubs across the county, it has the potential to make sure Kent football stays ahead of the game.”  

The programme is also backed by Kent Sport, Coaching Network Officer, Louisa Arnold who predicts the event could have a real impact upon the volunteering community in the county. 

“Kent Sport are delighted to support such a fantastic initiative for young women in Football,” said Arnold.

“Volunteering in sport is a great way to meet people, develop new skills and more importantly ensure that people can take part in sport. There are many roles available and it can even lead onto a career in sport. I am sure the Eighth Wonder programme will be a great success and provide incredibly rewarding and invaluable experiences for all those involved.” 

Tina Spry, Sports Participation Manager at Medway Sport, Medway Council added her support for the programme.  

“Having worked in the sporting industry for a long time I am personally delighted to say that currently Women ‘s sports is enjoying its most successful period with more sporting opportunities, more role models and more profile than I have ever known to encourage women and girls to take up sport and get involved in their chosen game. 

 “This programme is a fantastic example of taking that a step further, to ensure there are supported pathways from a thought or idea of I would like to do more, or get involved more, help out and pass on my passion for sport into pathways for officiating, club support and coaching.

“This could also uniquely set football apart as being ahead of the game in actively engaging with women and girls to ensure that any skills gaps are met head on and pro-actively moved forward with the right support and mentoring to keep them in the game for longer.” 

If you are aged 14-20 years old and would like to sign up to take part in the Eighth Wonder programme from 10-4pm on Friday 28th October, please sign up.   Signing up is free, but if you are selected to attend there will be a £10 charge for attendance towards administration costs. 

You can also learn more by visiting www.eighthwonderprogramme.co.uk, following @eighth_wonder8 on Twitter or by emailing eighthwonderprogramme8@gmail.com.

Please mention that you read this article on www.kentishfootball.co.uk when making contact with Charlotte.






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